Category: Cigarette Taxes

More States Voting for Higher Tobacco Taxes

Four states will vote on whether to raise their tobacco tax in November: California (by $2), Colorado ($1.75), North Dakota ($1.76) and Missouri (15 cents). California currently has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the country: 87 cents per pack. If California voters pass Proposition 56 in November, the tax would go up to $2.87 a pack. Colorado citizens will vote on the Colorado Tobacco Tax Increase, also known as Amendment 72, which has been designed to triple taxes on cigarette packets. The current tax rate on cigarettes is 84 cents per packet, but the amendment would increase the tax to $1.75 per pack of 20.

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Rising Taxes

New Taxes for Smokers Keep on Coming

All across the nation, states continue to chase after much-need revenue by taxing smokers.

Three-and-a-half years after California voters rejected a $1-per-pack increase in the state’s cigarette tax, Big Tobacco and health advocates are preparing to duke it out once again over a proposed $2-per-pack hike likely to appear on next November’s ballot. Proponents want not only to hike taxes on regular cigarettes but also by imposing for the first time taxes on electronic cigarettes. The proposed “California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016” would:Increase the state’s cigarette tax by $2 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office and state Finance Department estimate the tax hike would bring in $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion per year by 2017-18, but drop slightly in later years. Of the more than $1 billion a year tax increase, 80 percent of the tax would supposedly go to the state’s health care programs, enough to keep doctors from losing money every time they see a Medi-Cal patient.

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A tax increase you can really sink your teeth into

A tax increase you can really sink your teeth into

There is legislation in Congress right now that would send taxes on tobacco products absolutely skyrocketing yet again.

An excerpt from S. 1403 (The IDEA Full Funding Act) is posted below. You will notice that a portion of this legislation even refers to itself as the “Saving Lives by Lowering Tobacco Use Act”. They are openly admitting that they want to make tobacco so expensive that people cannot afford to use it….

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Utah Lawmakers OK $1 per pack cigarette tax hike

Utah Lawmakers OK $1 per pack cigarette tax hike

The Utah Legislature has given final approval to a $1 per pack increase to the state’s cigarette tax, sending the measure to Gov. Gary Herbert. Bill Phelps, spokesman for Altria Client Services, the parent company of Philip Morris, said that the tax will impose a hardship on the 9 percent of Utahns that smoke.

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Obama Signs Federal Cigarette Tax Hike

Obama Signs Federal Cigarette Tax Hike

President Barak Obama signed the Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, providing a major expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to provide health insurance to moderate-income families and illegal aliens.

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A Little Hypocrisy Goes a Long Way

A Little Hypocrisy Goes a Long Way

Writing in the Campaign for Liberty blog, Anthony Gregory said in his article, When Hypocrisy Matters…

A little hypocrisy is ubiquitous in nearly any society, but the issue of government always raises the stakes and makes it all the more egregious. It may be an insult for someone to verbally criticize you for a vice, such as smoking, only to light up himself minutes later. But for the government to impose the will, the ethics, the standards of some politicians on you by force even as they do what they claim should not be done—that is a different, much worse form of hypocrisy altogether.

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Taxing Smokers to Pay for Children’s Health Insurance

Taxing Smokers to Pay for Children’s Health Insurance

A recent strategy many smokers have turned to in order to reduce their cost of smoking is to buy a “roll your own” machine that is dramatically cheaper than buying packs of cigarettes. They are easy to use, and you can control what goes into your cigarette (getting tobacco with no additives or organic tobacco, etc). At least one smoker received the following email from the place they buy tobacco:

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Second-hand Smoke

Second-hand Smoke

Is second-hand smoke a rationale for higher taxes on tobacco or smoking bans? The research used to justify government regulation of second-hand smoke has been powerfully challenged by critics, including Congress’s own research bureau. According to the EPA, the risk ratio for forty years of exposure to a pack-a-day smoker is just 1.19. Epidemiologists as a rule are skeptical of any relative risks lower than 3 and dismiss as random ratios less than 1.3. Science writer Michael Fumento and others have documented how the threat of secondhand smoke has been greatly exaggerated.

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Social Costs of Smoking

Social Costs of Smoking

Are high taxes on cigarettes justified by the social costs smokers impose on the rest of society? No.

Harvard Professor Kip Viscusi has repeatedly demonstrated that smokers already pay more in excise taxes than the social costs of their habits. Even before the MSA, “excise taxes on cigarettes equal or exceed the medical care costs associated with smoking.” For example, Illinois’ cigarette taxes, according to Viscusi, were $0.13 more per pack than the social costs of smoking before the settlement added $0.40 to the price of a pack of cigarettes, before the $0.40 a pack tax hike approved by the state legislature in 2002, and before Cook County’s $0.82 a pack boost in 2004.

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Taxing Smokers

Taxing Smokers

Cigarettes are already the most heavily taxed commodity in the U.S. The federal excise tax is $0.39 a pack and the national average state excise tax is about $0.60 per pack, for a total of $0.99 per pack. In addition, the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) increased the price of a pack of cigarettes by about $0.40 a pack. In a growing number of cities, a pack-a-day smoker pays more in cigarette taxes than he or she pays in state income taxes.

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Higher Tobacco Taxes Hurt Business

Higher Tobacco Taxes Hurt Business

Kansas is currently considering a cigarette tax increase proposal of 50¢ per pack followed by 4 cent increases in each of the subsequent 5 years. If passed, the Kansas cigarette tax would rise from 79¢ to $1.29 per pack in 2008 — a rate 658% greater than the 17¢ per pack tax in neighboring Missouri. It is well known in economics that consumers will seek lower priced substitutes if they are readily available.

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State Tax Corruption in Washington

State Tax Corruption in Washington

If it were anybody other than the State of Washington (or other state government) doing this sort of price fixing, they would be sitting in jail. How is it that “We The People” allow these state governments to ply their corruption and steal more of our money?

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Please Don’t Poop in My Salad

Please Don’t Poop in My Salad

In July 2006, The Heartland Institute published Please Don’t Poop in My Salad–a collection of essays and presentations written by Heartland President Joseph Bast during the past several years concerning taxes and regulations imposed on tobacco and its consumers.

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Oregon Wants an 85-cent-a-pack tax increase

Oregon Wants an 85-cent-a-pack tax increase

Oregon’s Measure 50 will supposedly raise money from an 85-cents-a-pack tax increase on cigarettes to pay for children’s health insurance and other health programs.

Measure 50 will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot, with ballots being mailed next week.

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