Image 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.