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
- Who scares Shaheen? She wants to stop Scott Brown - 0
- Taxpayer rights: Left, right should restore them - 8
- Hooksett highs: A good multiple choice test - 1
- Where is Shaheen? Hiding from you - 73
- Portman's good point: A leadership deficit all around - 3
- Wheeler in Dist. 5: A GOP fighter for the little guy - 4
- GOP for legal pot? Hemignway's high help - 12
- Obama's indecision: In NH, only Ayotte urges action - 57
- Concealed controversy: Our 'Mother, may I' gun policy - 59
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Laconia accident results in minor injuries for motorcyclist - 0
- Christopher Thompson's Closing the Deal: Time for Market Basket to get back to business - 0
- Playing for a purpose Field Hockey Jamboree at Manchester Memorial - 0
- Franklin Pierce's Kirsh to retire as AD - 0
- UNH Wildcat gridders can't stop Toledo, 54-20 - 0
- UNH Wildcats volleyball looking forward to good season - 0
- Dave D'Onofrio's Patriots Notebook: Pats' cuts hold few surprises - 0
- New-look Boston Red Sox taking test run - 0
- NH Fisher Cats bats silenced in Conn., in 3-1 loss - 0
Mount Washington Auto Road to host largest gathering of alternative-energy based vehicles in North America