GOP To Fight Cigarette Tax Hike; More Teen Smoking Ahead
The state GOP announces it will try and block all the tax increases in Gov. Jim Doyle's budget.
That includes a proposed boost in the per-pack tax on cigarettes from 77 cents to $2.02.
Experts have concluded that the higher the price of a pack of smokes, the fewer teens - - vital 'replacement smokers' the companies need to pick up from the older smokers who have quit or died - - will be able to afford to begin, or keep smoking.
So the Republican position in Wisconsin is to make it easier for kids and others to begin, or keep smoking, knowing that cigarettes are killers that also put a huge tax, if you will, on the public's health care bill.
Opposing the cigarette tax increase is a really backward position. Wisconsin spends $2.02 billion a year in healthcare costs directly caused by tobacco use. Each pack smoked in Wisconsin costs taxpayers $9.53.
Increasing the cigarette tax will bring in new revenue, decrease smoking rates among children and adults, and result in long-term healthcare savings for our state. It's a win-win-win.
It's hard for me not to look at the cigarette tax increase as a tax decrease for the rest of Wisconsin taxpayers.
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