Skip to comments.Raising the Cigarette Tax is Bad Policy
Posted on 09/13/2006 9:26:29 AM PDT by DogByte6RER
September 11, 2006
Raising the Cigarette Tax is Bad Policy California Prop. 86 Should Be Defeated
By: Matt Schumsky
In less than two months, Californians will vote on a new $2.60 per pack tax on cigarettes. The new tobacco tax would bring the total cigarette tax to $3.47 a pack. The ballot measure to increase taxes by more than 250 percent is called Proposition 86, or the Tobacco Tax Act.
According to Californias non-partisan Legislative Analyst, the total revenue from the Tobacco Tax Act of 2006 could be up to $2.1 billion. What will happen to this new revenue? The main proponents of this measure are hospitals that would claim 40 percent of the new tax revenues. How will they spend the windfall? What is not explained in the proponents advertisements is that they get to decide how to spend the money.
Under Proposition 98, which voters passed in 1998, 40 percent of all new tax revenue must first be set aside for public education. But under the current proposition, the $840 million that should go to public education will instead go to the hospitals that are aggressively campaigning for the new tax.
The supporters of Proposition 86 say that this increased tax on tobacco could, prevent 700,000 kids from becoming adult smokers and prevent nearly 180,000 deaths due to smoking among California kids now under the age of 17. However, only about 10 percent of the proposed tax revenues would go toward efforts to help smokers stop or to keep kids from starting.
Another likely result of the passage of the Tobacco Tax Act would be the increased smuggling and black market sales. The Associated Press has reported on a study from the New York Health Department showed that 70 percent of smokers bought cigarettes from low or no tax sellers at least once in 2004, while 34 percent to 42 percent relied on those sellers all the time or sometimes. Regardless of what the taxman says, some people perhaps many, many people will purchase cigarettes from low tax states in order to avoid the tax.
For example, black marketers could drive to a nearby state such as Nevada, where the cigarette tax is only 80 cents, buy 100 packs and return to California for a quick profit. Imagine a profit of $2.67 on each pack, $26.70 for each carton and $2,670 for a truck of 100 cartons.
Proposition 86, if passed, will lead to a broken system. Smokers will find a way to circumvent the tax by driving to nearby states. Do not let the advertisements fool you, Proposition 86 does little to help people stop smoking or prevent children from starting. It is nothing more than a money grab by people at big institutions willing to use the political process to take from others.
Proposition 86 is bad policy and bad for California. Tax increases of more than 250 percent should not pass because of the smokescreen put up by those who stand to gain a windfall. Proposition 86 should be defeated.
Matt Schumsky is the California Field Coordinator for FreedomWorks. He lives in Alpine and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sadly, the proponents of Prop 86 have not only lost all respect for the law, but they have lost all respect for Californians and the concept of individual rights and limited government. Please vote "NO" on Prop 86 on November 7 in California.
Boy oh boy! California lawmakers, like Maine, are completely nuts!
Speaking of Winston, a carton of Winstons should be $1. The kids would cease smoking as a status symbol and I could resume to put burn holes in the carpet and tablecloth like the old days.
Oh right. I wonder how much dough we would rake in if we made the tax $100 a pack? Based on the Leg Analyst's reasoning it would be about $81 billion.
If people think drug smuggling is a problem, wait until this passes. Anyone and everyone will be returning to California with trunkloads of cigarettes either for resale, or their own use.
& increase organized crime income, in this case muslim terror cells, it's a speciality of the breed.
The power to tax is the power to destroy.
All those who urge legalizing "drugs" should take note.
Some say "legalize it and tax the hell out of it". That is becoming the case with beer and cigs. Some taxes are hidden inside of zero tolerance policies by which people get DWI charges over 3 beers or even Public Intoxication charges over 2 beers at a hotel bar. It's all about revenue.
These "drugs" that people complain about (like pot) can be grown at home. Would there seed taxes and licenses to produce for personal use?
Would the DEA just move under the ATF? (You know, those guys that raided Waco and that crack the knuckles of the mob?)
Please dont give Mayor Bloomberg anymore ideas.
But its for the children !
Hey, that's my line. I say this all the time when someone starts preaching to me about smoking.
Thanks for the ping!
What those dolts in CA conveniently forget is that in order to get this windfall they have to encourage kids to start smoking. What a bunch of idiots!
Wow, sound like SRO at the trough, you can almost hear the grunting.
How much more do these ticks think they can suck out of smokers?
What is not explained in the proponents advertisements is that they get to decide how to spend the money.
The Fair Tax will enable the people to have much more power deciding how much and when they will be taxed based on when and how much they purchase.
Another likely result of the passage of the Tobacco Tax Act would be the increased smuggling and black market sales.
The black market will be drastically reduced with The Fair Tax. The Fair Tax abolishes business to business taxes. These embedded value added taxes(VATS)are applied at each stage of production and passed onto the consumer in the form of higher prices. Abolishing the VATS will force companies to pass on the cost savings due to competition by lowering the cost of products including cigarettes making the black market less appealing.
I, for one, am glad my husband is a truck driver. He can get our cigarettes in another state for alot less. There will be a ton of black market cigs out there. If you look real close at the bill, you will find that with that tax, we smokers will be paying for additional law inforcement to tackle the smuggling. Makes sense to me! NOT.
Here is a check to Maine from a smoker:
Dang, I'll bet even criminal smugglers are contributing to that referendum from jail. We haven't seen a bonanza like this in California since the Gold Rush of 1849.
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