Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kentucky Cigarette tax go for launch?

Cigarette tax gets plenty of support at town meeting


Gov. Steve Beshear's town meeting here on the state budget crisis got a little smoky Thursday, as the proposed cigarette tax hike drew the most public comments.

However, only one of the approximately 100 people at North Middle School questioned the wisdom of raising the tax, saying it might put Kentucky merchants in border cities at a competitive disadvantage.

Beshear said that's not necessarily so. "We're the third lowest state in the country at 30 cents," and his proposal is to raise it 70 cents, which would still be 19 cents lower than the national average. All the states to the north have higher taxes, he said, saying only merchants that border Missouri and West Virginia might find themselves at a disadvantage.

Essentially, Beshear said, a tax on tobacco "is an easier sell than any other tax out there right now" and Kentucky may be forced to raise its sales tax if the economy gets too much worse.

Five other people spoke on the issue Thursday and were all in favor of the idea, especially state Rep. David Watkins, D-Henderson, who pre-filed a bill last week to raise the tax 70 cents. He sponsored an identical bill last year that failed in the Senate.
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Keep up the good fight Dr Watkins. I do hope when this passes it can be worded so that the extra money can go to offset the cost of the Medicaid program and not into the black hole of the general fund.

Previous post on the subject here.

2 comments:

USpace said...

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Politicians don't want people to stop smoking. If they did they would tax them $100 per pack. But this would just increase the black market even more, and the state would get no money.
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absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
raise taxes on the poor

tax cigs 300 percent
hurt poor smokers the most

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absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
create racist outcomes

raise some taxes on the poor
hurt minorities the most

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All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
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Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
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Help Halt Terrorism Today!
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USpace

:)
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Jason said...

Obviously you don't know Dr Watkins.