raise taxes on alcohol and cigarettes
Raise the tax on alcohol and cigarettes (or sin tax). It is time that those vices start contributing more of their fair share to cover the costs they place on society.
Great idea! The staggering effect this could have would be wonderful. Plus it would help cigarrettes addicts trying to quite! And it would clean up Idaho. It is horrible to see all the cigarette stubs in the foothills and such.... not only this, it would bring in revenue... the biggest plus of all!
Idaho ranks 42nd in the nation on cigarette taxes. We could raise the tax by a dollar and it would still be less than the national average. The tax on beer has been unchanged since 1961 and the wine tax has never been raise since it's inception in 1971. Taxing these items seem like a simple solution to a tough economic problem. We are not talking about taxing food or housing or taking more taxes out of paychecks. We are taking about alcohol and tobacco. Oh yeah, and for the purpose of full disclosure I am an ex-smoker and certainly enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. Solve the problem. Raise the tax and use it for something other than the building fund. Like health.
Raising the tax on cigs even $1 would generate at least $60 million a year even if the tax reduced consumption a bit. If it didn't have any effect on consumption, we could realize a tax revenue of close to 75 million. The legislators' refusal to consider this is absurd. The majority of people who smoke are the people who are least able to afford this unhealthy habit and the least able to afford health care AND the category of people the tobacco industry targets the most. Claiming that it's a "hardship" on the lower socioeconomic group to impose a tax on cigs is utter nonsense. The burden that tobacco use creates on Idahoans is huge. Each Idahoan pays $550 bucks a year in costs for tobacco-related illnesses. Wake up, legislators and stop being so stupid. You need money for the General Fund? For crying out loud, do the right thing for a change, show us that you're not ALL in the pocket of the tobacco industry. And go ahead and raise the tax on alcohol. I'd pay it!
Ah the old "tax the stuff I don't use" ploy.
I'm split on this one. Taxing a pack of cigs - OK by me. Taxing my wine -not ok. I can cook with wine, can't cook with cigarettes.
Joe Swank commented
When you raise the tax on one thing you automatically say it is alright to raise the taxes on everything,, what would be off limits in raising taxes and who would decide that?