Friday, October 5

Sin Tax Working Both Ways

The good thing about legislation that ties taxes to things that are lethal is that if they work, the things the taxes pay for are not as likely to be needed, like long-term healthcare for smokers. The downside is, sometimes people just go elsewhere to continue their vice.

This from the Press-Citizen

State officials say Iowa's higher cigarette taxes are prompting more people to kick the habit - or at least try.

Cigarette sales in Iowa have dipped 30 percent in the last three months, says Mike Lipsman of the state Department of Revenue. The decrease follows the $1-per-pack tax increase implemented by the state in March, forcing people to dish out an extra $1.36 for smokes.

Lipsman says the decreased sales can be attributed to a drop in demand, but he acknowledges that more Iowans may be buying their cigarettes in neighboring states that have lower cigarette taxes.

Lipsman says 246.3 million packs of cigarettes were sold in Iowa last year - a figure he expects to drop to 190.5 million this year and to 186.6 million in 2008.

"All the information we've gotten is that virtually everything that we thought would happen has happened," says Chuck Reed of the American Cancer Society's Iowa chapter. "I think that just shows that people do want to quit smoking, and the tax has brought about a lot of that because it's very expensive now to buy a carton of cigarettes."

No comments: