Tax Overhaul Could End Up Hiking Cigarette Prices
Ideas are flying fast and furious in Baton Rouge on ways to make the tax system in the state work better. Bobby Jindal's plan includes a lot of interesting ideas, including the sales tax for income tax swap. Still, this idea being thrown around puzzles me. It sounds like there are some that would want an increase in the tax on cigarettes in the Pelican State.
This one is a real puzzler. On the other, there is a way to make things work in a budget neutral way. On this, the Governor says he is willing if it is done in a revenue neutral way, yet with something like this, it is never that simple. When you tax something like smoking, you always get people that just decide enough is enough and quit. If that happens, then your tax revenue is going to end up going down. So I guess there is some magic line where people will complain and continue to buy as they always have. What is that line? Have you figured it out because I haven't. I realize the cost is up on everything and at my house we continue to look for ways to economize and save money. If taxes go up, we look for something to make cheaper to compensate. That is what is more likely to happen no matter what level you put a tax on cigarettes at.
This is one that needs a look. If you want the state to be healthier, then I can see the idea of a tax coming into play. But, if you want to raise money for state coffers, this isn't the way to do it.