FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8, 2018
Politically-Correct Cigarette Tax Denies Reality of Unintended Consequences
Would impose further financial burdens on low-income families, while harming retailers and fueling an under-ground economy
Providence, RI– Just because it conforms with politically-correct hysteria, does not make it good public policy. Case in point, the poorly-thought-out proposed cigarette tax.
The legislation, which would again raise state taxes on cigarettes (to $4.50/pack), as proposed in Article-4 of the Governor’s proposed 2019 budget, has been named the Progressive Land of Make Believe Bad Bill of the Week by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, which has long advocated for lower overall sales and excise taxes.
The Center’s full post, which includes a video commentary, points-out many real-life drawbacks to the tax-hike, including:
- the “regressive” nature of the tax, which will disproportionately harm low-income families
- the loss of retail and convenience store sales to other states and to the underground economy, costing jobs and tax revenues to our state
- the history of uncertain state revenue receipts from the higher tax
“Understandably, many people have strong beliefs about tobacco related products. But pretending that there are no unintended consequences to this anti-personal-choice and anti-commerce legislation, the progressive-left is committed to limiting or denying the right for consumers to buy ‘legal’ products, despite negative economic impacts and potential harm-reduction benefits,” said Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO, who recently penned a Providence Journal oped on the topic. “General Assembly lawmakers still have time to put some real thought into this.”
The post also points-out that other proposed taxes on vaping products would provide a disincentive for a 95% less-harmful lifestyle for smokers seeking to quit the habit.
Other Bad Bills: An interactive table of other progressive bad bill candidates, as well as posts and video commentary on previously tabbed “progressive bad bills of the week” can be found at RIFreedom.org/Bills.