Saturday, February 17, 2007

Indiana Cigarette Tax

Both Reps and Dems unanimously supported a bill "in Committee" and passed it out of committee to raise Indiana's State tax on a pack of cigarettes. The tax is currently 55.5 cents per pack and if legislated into law will be $1.10 per pack...

There are some possible valid reasons for raising the cigarette tax:
1. If it is proven that smokers have poor health and are supported by government programs
more then non-smokers are supported.
2. To discourage smoking if it is a health hazard and causes people to incur more governmental
costs through programs like Medicare that everyone has to pay for.

What is insulting is how they want to spend the revenue they will generate with this tax. This revenue SHOULD be spent on the following items:
1. Abolishing Personal Property Taxes on business owners. This is a tax that is not enforced,
is hard to comply with, and serves NO PURPOSE. When you buy equipment you already
pay sales tax, why keep paying another tax each and every year?
2. Lowering the income tax rates in Indiana to attract more business.
3. Lowering the sales tax rate for the same reason as two above.

Instead these morons want to create a new government program to provide health care to about 400,000 Hoosiers.

Please stop telling me that Reps or Dems are for smaller Government. Please...

Good grief.

Mike Sylvester


Robert Enders said...

Ken Gividen pointed out that if this tax does succeed in discouraging smoking, then it will cause future revenue shortfalls if the State becomes dependent on the tax to pay for Medicare.

Tim Zank said...

My point EXACTLY. If you tax the bejesus out of cigarettes, with the ultimate goal of getting people to STOP buying cigarettes, are you not actually planning for the revenue stream to cease?
Now that's planning ahead isn't it?

Brilliant, just brilliant.

Debbie said...

If your two reasons are valid reasons, then it will also be valid to raise taxes on other things like certain foods that cause obesity and other health problems. If we go down this path, it will be a never ending call for item after item that is bad for one's health. Which may be good if in the end the whole system fails and we have to get government out of such things as health care.

I don't get your thinking about how the funds would be better spent on the 3 items listed. Why do you think it's valid to put those things on the backs of smokers? That's just exchanging one type of tax for another, with no call whatsoever on decreasing any spending.


Andrew Kaduk said...

This is where it gets sticky. Mike's suggestions actually don't put anything on the backs of smokers. Smokers' choices would put these things on their own backs. If a smoker said "I don't support tax breaks for small businesses, I object," they would simply have to quit smoking to stop paying into that revenue stream. The problem with this as-is seems more to be the fact that the government literally wishes people to continue smoking. That fact makes this seem less viable. Any time you see citizens being literally used as food for government programs, something is seriously flawed.

Robert Enders said...

I'm opposed to cigarette taxes. I made the cigarette tax increase an issue during my campaign. Regular readers of my blog and Mike's blog already know where I stand on the issue.

Instead of saying "Dittos" everytime I agree with Mike, I try to contribute something unique.

Mike Kole said...

Mike, I don't think either the Ds or Rs have too many people saying they are for smaller government anymore. I think Rs are pleased to have the public believe they are for it. The results sure aren't being delivered.

Andrew Kaduk said...

Mike Kole's onto something here. Most of the partisan R's and D's that I know are really arguing about what kind of big government they want instead of big vs small.

It's sad, really.

Mike Kole said...

Andrew- What's really sad to me is that the average voter, and even most of the partisan Rs & Ds, who favor smaller government continue to go to their old parties, regardless of whether they stand for smaller government or not.

Voting has to be seen as more than a 'Prisoners Dilemma' problem, because in the two-party voting scenario, we're still winding up with ever more government.

Ds & Rs really are arguing over what kind of bigger government: Whose ox gets gored? Which special interest receives a transfer of wealth?

Now- how to convince the friends of smaller government to actually vote Libertarian...

Anonymous said...

Since Indiana has the second highest smoking rate in the country, it will be a LONG time (as in long, long time) before cigarette tax revenues ever go down!

Increase the tax by $1.00 and you'll raise approximately $339.3 million. At that rate, you can dedicate $11-12 million and immunize TWICE as many kids 2 years old and under (as the Governor has proposed) and you'll be able to increase funding to help people stop smoking by $24 million.

The rest? It can go to help people get health care insurance. Why does that make sense?

We're already paying the freight in lost productivity and health care costs to the tune of $2.08 billion. What's more, 49 percent of those who are uninsured SMOKE.

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