Regressive Tobacco Excise Taxes Smother Revenue Collections and Help Black Market
Reporter Scott Rothschild could not de-smog the primary lessons from the governor’s latest attempt to raise money for state-financed health care schemes by soaking cigarette smokers with new excise taxes (“Sebelius will ask for 50-cent increase in cigarette tax to help pay for health care reforms,” September 9). The border state smuggling of untaxed cigarettes will only expand as more taxpayers aggressively avoid tobacco sales taxes and reduce the flow of state revenues from this legal product.
Although Republicans and Democrats alike are signaling this tax increase is DOA for the next legislative session, the governor is steadfastly pursuing a contradictory revenue policy. It will cause a disproportionate financial penalty on the same poor and minority smokers whose health interest she claims to champion.
Ralph W. Conner ([email protected]) is local legislation manager at The Heartland Institute.