Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Ugly Truth About Sin Taxes

wine & cigarImage by ColumbusCameraOp via FlickrOur governmental leaders (usually Democrats) like to tell us that sin taxes are for our own good.  They tell us that the reason that they are putting taxes on things like cigarettes and alcohol is that they want to deter us from consuming products that are bad for us.  It is for our own good, after all.  The truth of the matter is that it is just another way for the government to line their coffers so they can spend, spend, spend.

States and the federal government have been raising taxes on tobacco consistently over the years.  In most jurisdictions, the majority of the cost of a pack of cigarette goes to the government, not the tobacco companies.  This morning I was going through some emails at my office.  I receive a lot of email news letters pertaining to the convenience store and retail food industry.  One of the articles that I read today further solidified for me the truth about sin taxes.

CSP is a magazine pertaining to the Convenience Store and Petroleum Industry.  On their website today, they had posted an article about three states (New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island) that are considering lowering their cigarette taxes.  Their reason for going against all the national trends of raising cigarette taxes?  Their hope is that by lowering their cigarette taxes that they will draw consumers from other states over state lines to buy cigarettes, increasing sales and revenue.  Now I ask you, do you really think cigarette taxes are to deter you from smoking?  I think not. 

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  1. Very well put! We here in Missouri have one of the lowest (if not the lowest) tax rates on both tobacco products and gasoline/diesel in the country, but I am sure that they are making it up somewhere.

  2. Increase Sales Revenue, instead of Increasing Taxes, what a novel idea. I betcha a Democrat didn't come up with it.

    I see New Jersey wants to lower sin tax---Christie is a hell of a man, we need to clone him!!

    I lived in No Texas by the Red River & Oaklahoma. Droves of Texans drove to Okla/Indian owned Ciggie stores for lower prices.

    Aloha Dickster and Happy Trails...

  3. Fish, I was looking at a chart of cigarette taxes and was surprised to see Missouri the lowest at $.17 per pack. I thought it would be Virginia or North Carolina, each around $.30. By comparison, New York is $4.25 per pack.

    Don, aloha and welcome back to the blogosphere



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