The tobacco tax in New York is a great example of what could happen in Kentucky if state leadership is unable to complete it’s job properly and manage the state’s out-of-control budget problem.
Last year, New York raised taxes on tobacco claiming a dual advantage: raise revenue and stop smoking. This tax included all tobacco products including cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars, and small cigars. In New York City cigarettes sometimes cost nearly $10 with $4.75 of that coming from taxes! Almost half the price is from taxes!
In addition, smoking bans have been going into effect all across the Commonwealth (most recently at the University of Kentucky). This begs the question: if tobacco taxes are an important source of revenue, why are we restricting where people can smoke and discouraging them from picking the habit up?
Something doesn’t add up here. Maybe legislators, not just in Kentucky but all over the nation, should get their act together and figure out where they can spend less money. If not, we’ll see business band together like a group of tobacconists did in New York.
What do you think about tobacco taxes or the current budget situation? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below!