Saturday, August 06, 2005

 

Cigarette Fee/Tax confusing retailers.....

Can you hear the shock in my voice?

http://www.kstp.com/article/stories/S9692.html?cat=1

I can see it now. When poor Minnesotans, those most affected by the new "Health Impact Fee," end up paying out the nose for the sake of Tim Pawlenty's No-New-Taxes pledge to the Taxpayers' League, the current Governor will take credit for fully funding education. When the number of smokers in the state goes down, he will take credit for improving the health of the state as a whole.

Don't get me wrong for a moment, I think that education funding and quitting smoking are both laudable goals. But this should and will be a gubernatorial campaign issue--why is Tim Pawlenty forcing new taxes on the working class when the upper class has received the benefits of the largest tax cut in their memory.

The other side of this issue is the ethereal nature of this Health Impact not-Tax. His staff estimates that it will bring in 230+ million dollars a year for education. Great. What happens if the working class decides on a large scale to cut back on cigarette purchases? Or worse, goes outside the state or to the Internet to buy cigarettes? What then, Tim? More budget shortfalls simply because you promised a regressive right-wing organization you were their guy so you could get their support. That's not going to play well this time around. The Democrats running for Governor will make sure Minnesotans remember what T-Paw has done, not just what he says he has done.

Comments:
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Blogger Brent Metzler said:
But this should and will be a gubernatorial campaign issue--why is Tim Pawlenty forcing new taxes on the working class when the upper class has received the benefits of the largest tax cut in their memory.

This is funny. Apparently the upper class doesn't smoke cigarette's. Must be those fancy cigars.

Honestly, this is one of the most equal, classless, evenly distributed taxes there is. You smoke a pack, you pay the tax. It is the same whether you are rich or poor. No discrimination there.

-Brent
 
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Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
I'm willing to admit that my assertion was anecdotal in nature, but your refutation is just as anecdotal. Find me some accepted statistics that prove that upper and upper-middle class consumers smoke as much as lower- and working-class consumers, and I will be happy to agree that it's a fair tax.

This also doesn't address the issue of the Governor calling it a "fee" to get around his pledge to the Taxpayers' League. Weak sauce.
 
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