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States Look at Tobacco to Balance the Budget
New York Times ^ | March 20, 2009 | Shaila Dewan

Posted on 03/21/2009 5:38:13 AM PDT by reaganaut1

ATLANTA — Mississippi’s tax on cigarettes, at 18 cents a pack the nation’s third-lowest, has not been raised since 1985. Gov. Haley Barbour, a former tobacco lobbyist, has long opposed an increase.

But this year, state lawmakers have gone from giving little thought to a tobacco tax increase to arguing over how much the tax should go up and where the money should go.

And they are not alone. Budget shortfalls are pushing more than 20 states to look to tobacco for revenue, even those that have long been loath to touch cigarette taxes.

In the South, where such taxes have been lower than in the rest of the country, Arkansas has nearly doubled its tax, to $1.15 a pack, and Kentucky’s will double, to 60 cents, on April 1.

Increases are also under consideration in other tobacco-growing states like North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. With estimated state budget shortfalls nearing $50 billion, opponents of smoking see an opportunity to make headway with the most reluctant lawmakers.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; US: Mississippi
KEYWORDS: pufflist; taxes; taxincreases; tobaccotaxes
I'm not a smoker, but I still see the injustice of targeting a small group of people to pay for more government. Obama promising to fund all his new spending only with taxes on the "rich" does the same thing. (Of course, he will be raising taxes on households with income less than $250K with cap and trade.)

Raising cigarette taxes too high encourages black market sales. If the government becomes just a means of robbing Peter to pay Paul, evading taxes is morally justified.

1 posted on 03/21/2009 5:38:13 AM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

Someone said we need 20,000,000 more smokers to pay for that SCHIP BS ...

As a former Smoker, I say to these governments .. Why buy them if I CAN”T SMOKE THEM ANYWHERE??
Stupid Marxist Bast****.


2 posted on 03/21/2009 5:45:33 AM PDT by gwilhelm56 (My 2nd amendment protects my 1st amendment... I carry a GUN because I can't Carry a SOLDIER!)
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To: reaganaut1

Roger that on the black market.

I met two smokers from NY when I was on travel.
When I asked how they could live in NYcity and afford cigarettes, they laughed and said only idiots buy liget smokes from a store.


3 posted on 03/21/2009 5:46:17 AM PDT by HEY4QDEMS
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To: gwilhelm56

The higher the cost, the fewer people who will smoke, and the less tax revenue will be collected. And I believe a higher percentage of blacks smoke - and they voted for Nobama at about 95%. Surely they won’t be happy.


4 posted on 03/21/2009 5:47:48 AM PDT by nobama08
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To: HEY4QDEMS

They got you covered, taxing leaf tobacco is also in there.

I was at a local quick-stop yesterday, the ruckus being created is worthy of a documentary on voting.


5 posted on 03/21/2009 5:49:11 AM PDT by Tarpon (It's a common fact, one can't be liberal and rational at the same time.)
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To: reaganaut1
What? This is direct tax on his sheep...and himself...
6 posted on 03/21/2009 5:50:18 AM PDT by areukiddingme1 (areukiddingme1 is a synonym for a Retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and tired of liberal BS.))
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To: reaganaut1
I'm not a smoker, but I still see the injustice of targeting a small group of people to pay for more government.

Above and beyond that, increasing taxes on anything results in less activity in whatever is being taxed. Lots of folks have and will jump on the bandwagon to tax smokers into oblivion, but what happens when less folks smoke because they are priced out of the activity? Those taxes collected from smokers will decline and the balance needed to fund these boondoggles will be shifted to the rest of us. Another example of this was the so-called "luxury tax" on yachts a few years ago. The result was less people buying yachts and tons of folks in the yacht building business going under. Eventually, the tax was repealed, but not before serious damage was done to the yacht industry.

If the government becomes just a means of robbing Peter to pay Paul.....

It already has in ways too numerous to list here.

....evading taxes is morally justified.

Seems like that has already happened too. Daschle, Geithner, et al.....

7 posted on 03/21/2009 5:51:18 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Government is not the solution to the problem. Government IS the problem - Ronald Wilson Reagan)
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To: reaganaut1

This is so stupid. Let’s see. The politicians are raising taxes on a minority that is shrinking everyday. How stupid. People are smoking less and less everyday. Once they bully all smokers to quit...What is next?????


8 posted on 03/21/2009 5:53:29 AM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: reaganaut1

This horse is just about dead. Politicians can’t beat much more out of it in the way of taxes. States, including my own, are thinking about big increases in tobacco taxes on the back of the big Federal increases. I’m a cigar smoker myself but I expect I’ll be giving it up soon. The guy I buy from says the new Federal taxes kick in April 1 (appropriate) and they are extremely complicated and expensive. I don’t know if he’ll still be in the business in a few months.

Here’s the dirty little secret to all these taxes though. They go to fund expansions in programs that will still need funding when tobacco tax revenues nosedive. They’ll just shift the taxes to a different segment of society. Federal programs never die and taxes rarely go down.


9 posted on 03/21/2009 5:59:26 AM PDT by saganite (What would Sully do?)
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To: reaganaut1

Not only is trying to penalize an ever-shrinking pool incredibly stupid, did any of these ass-clowns EVER think to maybe, oh, I don’t know—CUT SPENDING INSTEAD????


10 posted on 03/21/2009 5:59:27 AM PDT by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
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To: reaganaut1

As of April 1st the federal tax on loose tobacco is going up by 2200%.

Here in Michigan, Jenny Granholm is concerned about the “breathtaking” drop in tobacco and lottery revenues and is considering using nearly a billion dollars of “stimulus” money to balance the books.

The FDA is taking control of regulating the tobacco industry which will finish them off.

SCHIP funding is designed to fail.


11 posted on 03/21/2009 6:00:07 AM PDT by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: napscoordinator

“...What is next????? “

In the coming Amerika of ‘everything-not-mandatory-is-forbidden’ in the name of Nationalized Health Care and ‘Nanny Knows Best’, there will be plenty of room in the gulag when they come after your particular ‘guilty pleasure’...


12 posted on 03/21/2009 6:00:53 AM PDT by Uncle Ike (At some point, government has to be the next bubble to burst. (H/T Freeper This_far))
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To: Uncle Ike

I’m guessing that alcohol taxes will be the next big thing. After that, Big Macs.


13 posted on 03/21/2009 6:03:56 AM PDT by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: reaganaut1

Gov’t at all levels has grown so large that it has to find all sorts of ways to extract more money from its subjects. Just like the Fair Tax argument, people tend to confuse the method of collection with the amount of collection wanted.

Gov’t is just too damned big.


14 posted on 03/21/2009 6:05:48 AM PDT by umgud (I'm really happy I wasn't aborted)
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To: cripplecreek

Not just fast food. I think meat will be taxed at a higher rate because cows are on the AGW hit list.


15 posted on 03/21/2009 6:06:25 AM PDT by saganite (What would Sully do?)
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: saganite
Federal programs never die and taxes rarely go down.

The only thing harder to kill than a vampire, is a gov't program.

17 posted on 03/21/2009 6:08:59 AM PDT by umgud (I'm really happy I wasn't aborted)
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To: napscoordinator

There are still LONG lines at the Indian Reservations.. so Drop in tax revenue does not necessarily mean people are quitting... I probably bought a dozen pack of cigarettes over the last 10 years of my smoking...

Screw them ... they wanna be Marxist Crybabies, I REFUSE to support them Financially!!


18 posted on 03/21/2009 6:10:22 AM PDT by gwilhelm56 (My 2nd amendment protects my 1st amendment... I carry a GUN because I can't Carry a SOLDIER!)
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To: Aroostok Republican

“I say instead legalize marijuana and tax the bleep out of it.”

You know what...”when marijuana is legalized, it would be mostly the zero supporters that would smoke it.” If they are too stoned to give a crap...they would stay away from the poles and we wouldn’t be electing anymore Marxists...You may be on to something — I have never seen a productive stoner, have you.


19 posted on 03/21/2009 6:13:30 AM PDT by areukiddingme1 (areukiddingme1 is a synonym for a Retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and tired of liberal BS.))
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To: Aroostok Republican

I’ve been making the same argument for years, but it falls on deaf ears.

First it would save buckets of money in enforcement and then bring in even more money through taxation. To me treating marijuana in the same manner as alcohol and tobacco (taxes, age restrictions, etc)


20 posted on 03/21/2009 6:14:19 AM PDT by Gabz
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To: Aroostok Republican

Last I knew an ounce of pot was over $100. You aren’t going to reduce crime by driving the price up even more. All legalization and taxation will do is feed the beast and create more laws.

Better to just decriminalize it and impose high fines.


21 posted on 03/21/2009 6:15:59 AM PDT by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: areukiddingme1
pres. sh-t head doesn't pay state cig tax. He is commander chief of the military so they are bought at a millitary facility.No state tax.
22 posted on 03/21/2009 6:25:57 AM PDT by G-Man 1
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To: reaganaut1

Raising cigarette taxes too high encourages black market sales. If the government becomes just a means of robbing Peter to pay Paul, evading taxes is morally justified.
******************************************************

Well over 30% of cigarettes purchased in Canada are black Market bootlegged...the same will happen in the states, it’s already happening in NYC.

And then the tax payers will need to fund the programs to battle bootleggers who are only in business because of the Government tax burden.

If you tax it~ They will come.


23 posted on 03/21/2009 6:33:21 AM PDT by libertarian27 (Never has so many been owed so much by so few)
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: Aroostok Republican
You're absolutely right. I think it's stupid for people to whine about raising tobacco taxes when it's a Federal crime for me to even posess marijuana!

The tobacco addicts (of which I was one for 20 yrs) should be thankful they aren't yet walking in my shoes, which I hope they never will re: national tobacco policy.

25 posted on 03/21/2009 6:51:26 AM PDT by ChrisInAR (The Tenth Amendment is still the Supreme Law of the Land, folks -- start enforcing it for a CHANGE!)
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To: gwilhelm56

After 40 years of smoking i got sick and tired of being taxed period thanks to Barry Os second cousin Deval the one term wonder Patric I quit. i don’t buy lottery tics and now i buy my gas in another state. the thing that kills me is the fact the tax was raised was to go to health care for smoking related illnesses hey to this date not one dime has gone there and it has been a year i just celebrated a year smoke free


26 posted on 03/21/2009 7:14:26 AM PDT by phill_e
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To: G-Man 1

“pres. sh-t head doesn’t pay state cig tax. He is commander chief of the military so they are bought at a millitary facility.No state tax.”

Damn...you’re right, I totally forgot about that little fact.


27 posted on 03/21/2009 7:18:40 AM PDT by areukiddingme1 (areukiddingme1 is a synonym for a Retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and tired of liberal BS.))
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To: reaganaut1

New Flash: Today government outlawed government to reduce crime.


28 posted on 03/21/2009 7:25:46 AM PDT by bmwcyle (American voters can fix this world if they would just wake up.)
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To: reaganaut1

New Flash: Today government outlawed government to reduce crime.


29 posted on 03/21/2009 7:25:47 AM PDT by bmwcyle (American voters can fix this world if they would just wake up.)
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To: Gabz; Aroostok Republican
Ain't no respectable grower going to start anteing up for Uncle any more than Popcorn would stop moonshining.

Besides, Aroostok, half The County is making a living off it now.
;O)

And growing your own supply of weed is a whole lot easier than home brewing the two thirty packs I go through every week.

30 posted on 03/21/2009 7:34:33 AM PDT by metesky (My retirement fund is holding steady @ $.05 a can.)
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