Skip to comments.Proposal to raise Maryland cigar tax attacked
Posted on 01/20/2012 7:23:36 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
ANNAPOLIS Maryland health advocates are lauding Gov. Martin O'Malleys proposal to increase the states cigar tax, but critics say such an increase would create another financial burden for consumers and business owners.
Mr. O'Malley, a Democrat, proposed a state budget Wednesday that would raise the 15-percent excise tax on cigars, smokeless tobacco and other noncigarette tobacco items a group collectively known as other tobacco products (OTP) to 70 percent.
The OTP tax has gone unchanged since 1999 while the cigarette tax has gone from 36 cents to $2 a pack during that period.
Health advocates argue raising the OTP tax will reduce tobacco use and reverse a decade-long trend of underage smokers turning to relatively cheap cigars and chewing tobacco rather than more expensive cigarettes.
This is a life-saving public health measure, said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative. I think [the governor] just wants to have the same kind of success as he did with raising the cigarette tax.
Mr. O'Malley led a successful effort in 2007 to double the cigarette tax, from $1 to $2 a pack, and state officials say tax increases have helped drive down smoking in Maryland by 32 percent in the past decade.
A poll last fall by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, however, showed many teens are turning to cigars after being priced out of cigarettes.
The governors proposed tax hike would raise the price of a $1.49 cigar to about $2.20. Budget analysts project the increase will bring the state an extra $20 million next year.
If the General Assembly keeps the measure in its final approved budget, it would go into effect July 1.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
I hate Maryland.
Nanny State PING!
First they came for the evil cigarette smokers.
The tobacco tax is for the children until it effects elitists.
“I hate Maryland”
So do I. Want to hear something funny, TSR. I read some FReepers from other states that like their state. No, no state is Nirvana but other people can list things about their state they actually love. My list: blue crabs, Ravens. How sad is that?
They always say the same thing “This increase will bring in 100 million trillion dollars ....”. But, without fail, they always get less total revenue as people quit, smugglers expand, and people go to nearby states and buy bunches. Remember, you can’t improve on stupid!
Crabs are good. That’s about it for me.
Thank goodness I dont’ live in Maryland.
I can go to a roadside bar and lose my money playing KENO.
Then on the way home I can buy a pint of beer at a gas station for the trip home to PA.
In PA you can throw away all your money, house, job, spouse and kids at a casino but just don’t do it with a cig in your mouth.
“Budget analysts project the increase will bring the state an extra $20 million next year. “
How much did cigarette revenues increase?
What a crock. There is no way to know that. All they know is that cigarette purchases have declined in Maryland by 32%.
I live 8 miles south of the MD/VA line on the Eastern Shore and I can tell you there are far more Maryland tags in the parking lots of the various tobacco outlet stores between my house and the line than Virginia tags at any given time of the day.
Thanks for the ping!