Parliament approved with its third and final reading on December 12 amendment to tax code, increasing excise tax on tobacco and alcohol starting from next year and introducing retail sales tax on cigarettes from mid-2015.
Excise tax on a pack of filtered cigarettes will be increased by GEL 0.15 to GEL 0.9 starting from January 1, 2015, and on unfiltered cigarettes by GEL 0.05 to GEL 0.25.
The last time excise tax rates on cigarettes were increased in September 2013.
In addition, retail sales tax rate of 5% will be introduced on tobacco starting from July 1, 2015.
According to the amendments, excise tax rate on one liter of beer will be increase by GEL 0.2, instead of initially proposed GEL 0.4, and will amount to GEL 0.6; excise tax on other alcoholic beverages and ethyl alcohol will be doubled, according to the amendments.
Government expects roughly GEL 100-110 million in additional tax revenues as a result of these changes.