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Blog

State Cigarette Tax Hikes Totally Earning Cash; For Other States.

Years ago, Illinois decided that smoking was bad for its citizens and put a cigarette tax into place thinking they'd do two things: one, break the people who live there of a nasty filthy habit that was shortening their lives and keeping the Democratic politicians who cared about their fragile health up at night, and two, raise a little cash for a state that is so far in debt California won't be seen in public with it anymore. 

03/22/2013
Help Stop Tax Hikes in New Mexico
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Press Release

Help Stop Tax Hikes in New Mexico

Last week state legislators in New Mexico failed to pass an operating budget for fiscal year 2011 so they are now in a special session to get one passed. Thankfully, limited government advocates have been able to hold the line on higher taxes and are refusing to burden the working families of New Mexico further. Unfortunately, those calling for higher taxes haven’t backed down either. Your representatives and senators need to hear from you today.

03/04/2010
Help Stop a Flood of Tax Hikes in North Carolina
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Press Release

Help Stop a Flood of Tax Hikes in North Carolina

Legislators in Raleigh will be considering a new budget any day now, as they face a July 1 deadline.  For government reformers, a new budget sounds like a great idea as North Carolina faces a $4.6 billion deficit.  However, rather than cutting fat and waste in the budget, Governor Beverly Perdue’s plan calls for an additional $1.5 billion in spending for education, even as state revenues fall.How does she and other House and Senate leaders plan to make up this huge difference?  With a big package of new taxes and fees applied inconsistently across the economy, picking and choosing the winners and losers.  The House and Senate are considering different plans, but here are a few of the suggestions on the table that will hurt North Carolina families and businesses.

06/24/2009
Help Stop Delaware Tax Hikes
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Press Release

Help Stop Delaware Tax Hikes

Delaware is the latest state to jump on the tax hike bandwagon with a plan to raise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol to bridge a looming budget gap.  These so-called “sin taxes” seem to be the first place politicians go for some quick cash anytime they can’t pay the bills.  Take Action and urge your lawmakers to oppose tax hikes and pursue real long-term growth policies.A recent proposal would raise alcohol taxes by two cents per 12-ounce can of beer, three cents per 5-ounce serving of wine, and 15 cents per bottle of liquor. The state cigarette tax would see a $.45/pack hike.Delaware doesn’t need to go down the path of higher taxes that nickel-and-dime citizens.  State legislators need only look up I-95 to New Jersey to see the effect cigarette tax hikes have on the budget.  A Heartland Institute study shows that for two years running, the tax hikes have led to reduced revenues, not the millions the state was banking on.  New Jersey was left with a still gaping budget hole and businesses were hurt as smokers turned to the Internet, Indian Reservations, and the black market for lower priced cigarettes.  This is a common scenario when legislators go after a minority of citizens for the funding woes of a state.  The picture is the same when you look at alcohol taxes.  Raising those taxes hurts businesses as well.  Already, the hospitality industry is bleeding jobs during this economic downturn.  The last thing they need is higher taxes!Governor Markell is hoping these proposals bring in over $20 million, a drop in the bucket when Delaware is facing an $800 million gap for 2010.  But looking at other states who have tried the same tax and spend schemes, that money won’t be there and taxpayers will be again left holding the bag – only now with a much bigger price tag.  Take Action and tell your legislators to avoid these tax gimmicks altogether.  Delaware has a great history of tax competition and economic liberty that has allowed that state to thrive.  Keeping spending in check is a far better way to maintain long-term growth than going down the tax-hike road where other states have become stuck.

06/15/2009
Help Stop Minnesota Tax Hike
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Press Release

Help Stop Minnesota Tax Hike

Even after freedom-loving citizens took to the streets last week on April 15 to protest the tax and spend ways of our federal and state governments, it looks like a massive tax hike is still on the horizon for Minnesotans.  There is a plan to raise the state cigarette tax by a whole $1 making its way through the Minnesota legislature. That would make a pack in Minnesota cost almost $7!It’s clear that we still have to keep up the pressure on our elected officials to do the right thing.  Take Action and urge your leaders to oppose this tax hike.Like many other hurting states, Minnesota is facing a $4.6 billion budget gap.  That’s a big hole, but trying to fill that with more taxes, especially taxes that affect a minority of Minnesotans just won’t work.  States that enact cigarette taxes, hoping to get a fresh wave of cash in the door, rarely see those promised funds.  That hole will still be there and they’ll have to turn to even more taxes and fees from taxpayer pockets.  Cigarette tax hikes hurt Minnesota’s small businesses.  To avoid high costs, people turn to the black market, the internet, across state lines, and to Indian reservations to get cheaper cigarettes.  At a time when everyone – not just the state government – is struggling to make ends meet, our elected officials should think twice before raising taxes.  If citizens are cutting back on expenses, reconsidering where their money goes, and sticking to a budget, the state should too!  This is the time for real leaders to make the tough choices necessary to promote real growth in Minnesota.  Cutting waste and spending, and rolling back regulations would make the state a great place to do business and bring jobs to the area.  Take Action and tell your elected officials Minnesota doesn’t need new tax hikes, we need lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.

04/24/2009