Home » Opinion » Editorials
Taxing tobacco: Making the state fatter
It is a common plea of tax-hikers: If we raise X tax, we can use the money to fund programs and services directly related to the taxed item or activity. So it always is with tobacco taxes. We are told that if we raise them the state will have more money to spend on initiatives dedicated to improving public health, such as smoking-cessation services.
In real life, the connections seldom are made. New Hampshire's beer tax was supposed to fund roadside cleanup. It doesn't. The Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment is supposed to get 5 percent of the proceeds from sales at state liquor stores. It doesn't. All of the revenue from the beer tax and liquor and wine sales goes straight into the general fund.
By law, the Land and Community Heritage and Investment Program (LCHIP) is funded by a $25 tax on real estate transactions. But year after year legislators suspend the law and take the money for other uses.
Revenue from higher cigarette taxes will not go to smoking cessation programs or other health care services. It will be spent on whatever legislators feel like spending it on, and that will vary with each legislative session. Raising this tax will not make Granite Staters healthier. It will just make the state richer.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Pamela Diamantis: USNH’s tuition freeze offer is good for NH’s future - 1
- Deroy Murdock: Earth-friendly energy is anything but - 3
- George Will: Battle royal in Iowa - 0
- Charles Krauthammer: Our real Syria strategy: containment-plus - 0
- Roger Simon: Do 'real men' hit women? - 3
- Another View -- Scott Brown: America's interests come before party or President - 27
- John Stossel: We have two anti-choice parties in America - 1
- Another View -- Andres Martinez: How our imperial tax code encourages inversions - 0
- Jonah Goldberg: What 'war on women'? - 4
READER COMMENTS: 0
- NHIAA Roundup: Double-overtime goal sends Goffstown past John Stark in boys' soccer - 0
- UNH gridders jump one spot in national polls - 0
- Dave D'Onofrio's Sox Beat: Offseason needs aplenty - 0
- NHIAA Field Hockey: Merrill's hat trick lifts Winnacunnet - 0
- Manchester teachers to vote again next week on contract - 0
- Nabbed and then cleared by feds, NH man still intends to sell rhino trophy - 0
- Developer says Alexandria wrong to deny tower - 0
- Salem police target ski-jacket thief who used tree branch to hide license plate - 0
- Scott Brown speaks at Franklin Pierce forum - 0
UNH gridders jump one spot in national polls
Enter to win tickets to see the Dirty Heads
Racism in Lincoln? Looks more like ignorance