Newspaper Opposes SEIU-Supported Tax Hike

The editorial board of a California newspaper announced its opposition to a cigarette tax hike that SEIU is supporting. The newspaper noted that California’s state revenues are improving which undercuts the rationale for tax hikes. The paper also noted that the poor would be most affected by the $2-per-pack tax hike.

Then there’s a tobacco tax increase proposal by the SEIU California State Council, the California Medical Association and other medical groups to ignite cigarette taxes. Reported the Sacramento Bee, the initiative “would impose a $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes to fund health programs that include smoking prevention and Medi-Cal, California’s health insurance program for low-income residents.”

The tax largely would fund programs for the poor; yet the poor would pay for the programs because they form the largest group of smokers. It would raise up to $1.3 billion a year. But as we always warn, boosting cigarette taxes also would increase the black market, which especially afflicts the poor.

If the economy remains this productive, we hope any talk of tax increases next year is snuffed out like a cigarette butt.

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