Thursday, June 01, 2006

Smokers Over Taxed As Property Taxes Fall

I wonder sometimes why smokers don’t take their frustrations out of lawmakers? It seems like that every time the government needs more money they add an extra tax to cigarette smokers to raise revenue. No other group of people in the United States get taxed as heavily as those who use tobacco products. Apparently, the Texas legislature is considering an additional $1 per pack tax on cigarette sales in the next legislative session. The only reason I know this is because Philip Morris has been running radio commercials talking about this proposal and asking citizens to lobby against it.

We are approaching an election here in Texas for Governor. Our current leader, Rick Perry, has already started running television commercials, patting his administration on the back for lowering property taxes and raising the pay of teachers and other state services all at the same time. I’m not the smartest man in the world, but there is no way a governor can lower property taxes and raise teachers pay without raising revenue somewhere else. My guess is that the users of tobacco products are once again going to pay for a property tax reduction in the State of Texas.

All people in the United States are suppose to be treated equally by their government, but cigarette smokers are not treated like everyone else. They are taxed over and over again so smart politicians are able to lower the taxes of property owners and compliment how well they are doing their jobs in state government. The truth is that most folks who still smoke cigarettes are on the lower end of the income scale, so rich property owners are getting a tax break while lower income folks are paying the tab.

No one hates taxes more than I do, but the way the tax burned is being divided up in state governments around the country is not fair and it is getting less fair all the time. Most folks don’t smoke now days so there isn’t a big political price to pay for sticking another tax on these folks while lowering the taxes of richer and better educated state residents. All I’m saying here is that is it wrong to pick on a class of people who choose to smoke while at the same time lowering the taxes of other who are more able to pay higher taxes.

The problem smokers have is that neither political party is looking out for their financial interest. Both Republicans and Democrats love to tax tobacco products, but their motivations are different. Democrats want to tax cigarettes to raise additional revenue for social programs while Republicans want to tax the same products to lower the tax burden on folks who support their campaigns. It has become PC in the US to pick on smokers and I don’t see that changing anytime in the future.

I think everyone who smokes should quit, but many can’t or won’t give up the nicotine habit which means they will continue to be taxed until they die an early death because of their use of these products. While I don’t smoke, I think it’s wrong to stick a certain class of Americans with a tax burden they can not afford to pay and then at the same time cut taxes on millionaires. The current system isn’t fair, but won’t be changed unless people who don’t smoke tell their representatives that they want a fair tax system where everyone pays, not just a small group of people who choose to smoke.

Related: Sin Tax Explosion, Hate Tax Increases, Big Brother Controls, For The Children

Smokers Over Taxed

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