But a story from Wednesday's Quad City Times about Illinois' proposed cigarette tax hike still managed to catch my eye.
Lawmakers set up what could be a final vote before Illinois taxes on cigarettes are raised by $1 per pack.
A House committee voted 4-3 Wednesday to approve legislation that would raise the tax by 50 cents in September and 50 cents more a year later. All Democrats on the panel voted for the increase, and all Republicans voted against.
Democrats favor the tax increase, Republicans oppose it. 'Nuff said.
Earlier this month the federal government increased its tobacco levy by 62 cents.
Being the Marathon Pundit, I'm not a smoker. But the $1 a pack hike is a bad idea.
As I've explained in previous posts, tobacco taxes usually bring in less money than forecasted. Some smokers give up the habit.
Back to the Times:
Opponents say, however, that people quitting smoking might mean the state could take in even less money, despite the tax increase.
The state's share of cigarette taxes was last raised in 2002. But the state's take cigarette taxes has declined from $742 million in the 2005 fiscal year to $594.2 million last year.
Other revenue sources, meaning taxes, make up the tobacco tax shortfall.
Even though I'm a non-smoker, this effects me.
But not all smokers will quit.
Some will travel across state lines to buy cigarettes in states such as Indiana. When I lived in Chicago's southern suburbs, I knew a lot of smokers who made the short trip to the Hoosier State to buy cigarettes--smokes were taxed less there. But now Indiana cigarettes cost roughly the same as they do in Illinois--that will change if the Illinois tax is approved.
Who will get hurt the most? Illinois convenience store and gas station owners--cigarette sales account for much of their revenue.
The effect of those high cigarette taxes
SCHIP cigarette tax kicks in, Illinois considering add'l $1 a pack increase
Marathon Pundit attacks higher cigarette taxes
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