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Taxing smokers - Is it right?

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  • Taxing smokers - Is it right?

    I quit smoking many, many years ago, so that is not my angle here.

    But today on local news they said that the mayor of Philadelphia would like to put a $2/pack city tax on cigarettes, the money to go to schools in Philly.

    Now how is this an equitable tax? It has nothing to do with if you smoke, had smoked, or not. It's about taxing a few to pay for something that should be equitably distributed among the population of the city, NOT people who live outside the city and commute there to work or are visiting the "City of Brotherly Love".
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
    ---------
    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

  • #2
    Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

    Last I checked, PA, like Mass, is a commonwealth. Don't let any Politician bull**** you into believing that a certain tax will go directly into a specific program. Like all commonwealths, every fee, fine, and tax all enter one large general pool, afterwards, the money is then parceled out.

    I loved it when MA had a ballot question to lower the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%. I remember one radio announcement where a state rep went on the air to state that such a tax cut would harm schools. Anyone with half a brain cell would know right away the state goon squads like to hold public schools hostage and it also displays that during a recession, they cut public education before all else without hesitation. Bastards.

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    • #3
      Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

      in a word "NO"

      I find using "sin taxes" to supplement programs just wrong.

      I have no children yet I'm forced to support schools with my property taxes.
      OK let's be reasonable I'll support schools with taxes for a while but not forever!
      I get zero return for that tax.

      We have a retirement community here for folks over age 55 and they do not pay any school taxes.
      I am not against that but perhaps homeowners over say age 60 should also be exempt from school taxes too.

      Cactus Man

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      • #4
        Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

        Originally posted by cactusman View Post
        in a word "NO"

        I find using "sin taxes" to supplement programs just wrong.

        I have no children yet I'm forced to support schools with my property taxes.
        OK let's be reasonable I'll support schools with taxes for a while but not forever!
        I get zero return for that tax.

        We have a retirement community here for folks over age 55 and they do not pay any school taxes.
        I am not against that but perhaps homeowners over say age 60 should also be exempt from school taxes too.

        Cactus Man
        I agree that there should be a cutoff age, but considering how bad the economy is I don't forsee that happening. In theory the return for school tax is well educated children, whether or not you have childre, or have children currently in school. I said "in theory" because in practice it's a mess out there, they don't learn scriptive writing and would be lost without a calculator. The spoken word is often replaced by text messages and language skills are not what they used to be in my opinion. I think paying school taxes would be more platable if we saw more positive results.

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        • #5
          Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?


          I find using "sin taxes" to supplement programs just wrong.
          I agree with this, plus its not a sustainable source of revenue because as the number of smokers goes down and people get tired of paying the $2/pack tax they will buy elsewhere which not only reduces the tax revenure stream but also hurts those store owners who were making a profit, however slight, off their sales of the overly taxed items, in this case cigarettes. So now you have hurt your constitutients in the pocketbook by trying to help them out. They need to htink these things through a little more than they do. Why not put a $2/6pack tax on beer or a $2/bottle tax on spirits and wines.

          What's next, a $500 city tax on car sales. and they wonder why the interior of most cities are dead zones and people are leaving in droves for the 'burbs.
          ---------------
          Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
          ---------------
          “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
          ---------
          "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
          ---------
          sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

            Targeted taxes are not fair if their sole purpose is to generate revenue. Plus, as stated above, the law of diminishing returns comes into play when revenue declines due to decreased demand for the taxed product. However, revenue enhancement isn't the only aim of those who advocate increasing taxes on cigarettes. If higher taxes drive people to quit smoking (which lots of studies have shown) [http://www.treatobacco.net/en/page_120.php] , there will be a residual effect down the road in decreased public subsidization of medical care for a great many of those who succumb to cigarette related diseases.

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            • #7
              Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

              MN is looking at hiking the cigarette tax to pay for a new Vikings football stadium, where smoking is not allowed anymore indoors... all because the public funding side of the stadium that was suppose to heavily pull in money from electronic pull tabs is a complete failure...

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              • #8
                Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

                If the goal is to decrease public subsidization of medical care then shouldn't everything that isn't good for you also be taxed accordingly. To say that the cost of medical care is the reason, while the number of people who smoke has been decreasing, is nothing more than a smoke screen, no pun intended, to punish those who are not politically correct in some peoples eyes. It only stands to reason that people who over indulge in sugars, carbohydrates, alcohol, reckless behavior and other non-healthy activities are more likely than not to be more of a burden on the medical tax dollar than smokers currently are. I don't happen to smoke or drink but I should probably be eating more healthier than I am. In fairness to all, if you're going to tax "sin" then you must tax all sins equally. What a fairy tale world I live in huh?!
                Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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                • #9
                  Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

                  Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
                  If the goal is to decrease public subsidization of medical care then shouldn't everything that isn't good for you also be taxed accordingly. To say that the cost of medical care is the reason, while the number of people who smoke has been decreasing, is nothing more than a smoke screen, no pun intended, to punish those who are not politically correct in some peoples eyes. It only stands to reason that people who over indulge in sugars, carbohydrates, alcohol, reckless behavior and other non-healthy activities are more likely than not to be more of a burden on the medical tax dollar than smokers currently are. I don't happen to smoke or drink but I should probably be eating more healthier than I am. In fairness to all, if you're going to tax "sin" then you must tax all sins equally. What a fairy tale world I live in huh?!
                  YES! Leave my cookies, cakes, icecream, home made bread and other goodies alone! Let's leave fairness out of this argument.
                  Anyone remember the comedy skit when Lou Costello told a nurse "I don't smoke, drink, or chase after women, I believe in clean living!". The nurse replies, "Well it may be clean, but I wouldn't call it living!.
                  Last edited by Frankiarmz; 05-16-2013, 10:44 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

                    Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
                    If the goal is to decrease public subsidization of medical care then shouldn't everything that isn't good for you also be taxed accordingly. To say that the cost of medical care is the reason, while the number of people who smoke has been decreasing, is nothing more than a smoke screen, no pun intended, to punish those who are not politically correct in some peoples eyes. It only stands to reason that people who over indulge in sugars, carbohydrates, alcohol, reckless behavior and other non-healthy activities are more likely than not to be more of a burden on the medical tax dollar than smokers currently are. I don't happen to smoke or drink but I should probably be eating more healthier than I am. In fairness to all, if you're going to tax "sin" then you must tax all sins equally. What a fairy tale world I live in huh?!
                    You're right (I'm surprised you didn't mention all the surcharges they place on moving violations, talk about taxation without representation). But, I've never heard of anyone being effected by second hand twinkee consumption. And, how does one tax reckless behavior? Alcohol is taxed through the nose (as it should be due to all the negatives associated with it) and that doesn't seem to put a dent in consumption. We tried Prohibition and that didn't work.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

                      Originally posted by Plumbus View Post
                      You're right (I'm surprised you didn't mention all the surcharges they place on moving violations, talk about taxation without representation). But, I've never heard of anyone being effected by second hand twinkee consumption. And, how does one tax reckless behavior? Alcohol is taxed through the nose (as it should be due to all the negatives associated with it) and that doesn't seem to put a dent in consumption. We tried Prohibition and that didn't work.
                      We are seeing unhealthy behavior punished in the private sector. Some jobs require regular physicals that include weight monitoring and that ties into insurance premiums, things such as raises and even continued employment. I think it is a matter of time until folks are forced to either eat and live healthy (however that is defined), or suffer the consequences such as beng denied healthcare or certain medical procedures. We are indirectly affected by folks who drink, do drugs or drive while distraced and cause personal and property damage. We are indirectly affected by folks who beat the heck out of their bodies with bad diet, lack of exercise, drinking, drugs and even high risk physical activity. We all somehow pay for the abuses that find their way into the emergency rooms and require hospitalization.

                      I don't know how all this could eventually play out, but to have cookie cutter people who all look a certain way and behave a certain way is sort of scary. Personal freedom comes at a cost to ourselves and those around us.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

                        I don't think we'll ever get to the point of the government controlling the downstream side of consumption. They will concentrate on controlling manufacturing and sale of certain products. Problem is, those who would be controlled will resist (can you say lobbyist?). Judging by the plethora of poor food choices readily available, I'd say that so far the manufacturer's are on top of the situation.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

                          We in Australia are the ginny pigs they try all this crap on us first as we are only 22 million people white and majority christian before they start on you in the US with over 300 million who might object smoking a 20 pkt costs around $18.00 and most of that is federal and state taxes now and you cannot smoke really anywhere you cannot even smoke on the beach the only you can smke is in your own home if you eat out its a no no even in the open.
                          A couple of years ago Macas only sold the big mac cheese burger etc but now they have added all the so called healthy meals in the years to come people who don`t look after themselves will not get a look in at hospitals and all of what we have been pushed on us is coming to your shores you see if it works in Australia then it will be pushed on you so enjoy what `s coming to the land of the free

                          Tony
                          Last edited by AFM; 05-18-2013, 11:49 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

                            Tony has some valid points although he has trouble expressing them without emotion. We are barely 10% of the size of the US population and yet we get flogged beyond. I used to smoke a very long time ago and don't get offended by smokers. It is legal but it is harmful just the same. We too have these lunatics who govern us because the "majority" voted them in complete with their way out ideals and ideals too. I would rather see the government taxes surrendered to pay for these things. So then there is the RED-HEADED kamikaze Prime Minister who lies and cheats. Come September god only knows what she will do if she gets back in for another four years. Now if she does get back in look out the rest of the world because she just might come over there and re-organize your government and taxes too....................!!!!!!!!!!!!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Taxing smokers - Is it right?

                              I was reading in the paper today that a fat tax is being talked about here in Australia so if it works here it will be coming to a food outlet near you in the US don`t you just love the nanny state which world wide politians wish to protect your whether you want to or not thats democracy for you

                              Tony

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