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
- Former NH state trooper gets new state job after 2010 conviction - 18
- Public hearing is set in Portsmouth on plan to beddown 12 KC-46A aircraft - 0
- U.N. denies reports representative in Ukraine seized in Crimea - 0
- Frigid weather has maple producers expecting a 'couple of weeks' delay - 0
- NH Motor Speedway founder selling lakeside estate for NH-record $49 million - 7
- Crotched Mountain honors its farming roots with tree farm honor - 0
- 'Our lost duck friends' remembered - 23
- UPDATE: America selects Preston for top 13 in "American Idol" - 0
- UPDATE: Mont Vernon man chosen as ‘American Idol’ top 20 contestant - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Firefighters battle blaze at Pittsfield pizza plant - 0
- Allen Lessels' UNH Notebook: Wildcats, Hogan not finished yet - 0
- Little Green has quartet of contenders for New England wrestling championships - 0
- Roger Brown's High School Basketball: Madness has arrived - 0
- Monarchs: Let's play three - 0
- Another View -- Diana Lacey: Union Leader editorial got gas tax hearing all wrong - 2
- Obamacare's new trick: Only temporary relief - 7
- Banning cell phones: Impulse shopping in the House - 4
- Cannon Mountain skiers head to Paralympics - 0
Fremont's Miss 1964 to pass on her crown
Obamacare's new trick: Only temporary relief