It all boils down to answering a simple question. Do you believe the Government spends too much or do you believe the people are not taxed enough? With the new certified money last week, this year’s budget is beyond $7 & ½ billion and the new money is close to $ 1 ½ billion. Since virtually all of your money is spent, now they want to raise the cigarette tax. Last week the Finance Committee approved a 45 cent per pack increase in the cigarette tax.
Being a pharmacist, I witness daily the health problems caused by smoking. Smoking costs the taxpayers millions of dollars a year and I feel that this extra cost is unfair the non-smoking taxpayer. For this reason I would support the 45 cent increase IF matched with tax relief elsewhere. Currently, the bill is a net tax increase.
I must stand with my conviction, however, of not supporting a tax increase, especially with all the dollars in the kitty. Without matching tax reductions, the cigarette tax will not get my support.