Monday, November 12, 2012

Cook County passes new cigarette tax, Chicago pays second highest rate in nation

I have some catching up to do in regards to non-presidential election stories.

For a couple of years I have been railing against the push in Illinois to raise taxes on cigarettes. I've stated my case before: these taxes rarely match revenue forecasts because some smokers quit--or they purchase their smokes from less expensive jurisdictions. For those unwilling to drive elsewhere--smugglers will do that for you. So on top of the $1-a-pack Illinois tax added this summer--Cook County, where Chicago is--added another buck last week.

Taxes on cigarettes in Chicago are now at $6.67 a pack, which is second only to New York City's $6.68.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle claims she has accounted for the cutbacks in smoking. But my guess is that the revenue shortfall will be greater than she anticipates. It usually is.

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