Skip to comments.States Look at Tobacco to Balance the Budget
Posted on 03/21/2009 5:38:13 AM PDT by reaganaut1
ATLANTA Mississippis tax on cigarettes, at 18 cents a pack the nations 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 Kentuckys 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 ...
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.
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****.
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.
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.
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.
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.....
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?????
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.
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????
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.
“...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’...
I’m guessing that alcohol taxes will be the next big thing. After that, Big Macs.
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.
Not just fast food. I think meat will be taxed at a higher rate because cows are on the AGW hit list.
The only thing harder to kill than a vampire, is a gov't program.
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!!
“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.
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)