Sunday, February 20, 2005

I Guess That's Why They Call It a Sin Tax

Recently Democratic governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, called for an increase in the state cigarette sin tax of $.75. This would bring the per pack tax rate in Illinois to $2.33. This is not the price per pack, this is the tax per pack.

This would put Illinois as the third highest tax per pack state just behind New Jersey. Leading this elite group is Rhode Island @ $2.46 per pack. $2.46 per pack!
Here is the break down of the full top ten...

1. Rhode Island- $2.46
2. New Jersey- $2.40
3. Michigan- $2.00
4. Alaska- $1.60
5. Massachusetts- $1.51
6. Connecticut- $1.51
7. New York- $1.50
8. Washington- $1.42
9. Hawaii- $1.40
10. Pennsylvania- $1.35

I do not smoke. I personally find it somewhat obnoxious. But these ‘sin’ taxes are just insane. Here are some numbers, then I’ll get to the point of this post...

-32.9 percent of adults who are below the poverty level smoke, compared to 22.2 percent of adults
who are at or above the poverty level.
-31 percent of adults who do not graduate from high school smoke compared to just 12.1 percent
of those with a college education, and 7 percent of those with a graduate degree.
-Among college-age adults, those not in college are much more likely to smoke than full-time
college students (37.6% v. 26.7%).
-Smoking among college bound high school seniors is 23.6 percent while smoking among noncollege bound seniors is 37.5 percent.


So basically, what I’m seeing here is cigarettes are used more by the poor than by the affluent. And thus, taxing cigarettes will burden those less fortunate to a larger degree.

So what we really have here, then, is a tax on the poor.

There is something else odd happening here. Of the top 11 states in tax amounts per pack, all but Alaska are blue states. Hmmm. Blue states. Wait a minute here, that means they vote Democratic right? And Democrats are always screaming about how the poor are overly burdened, right? That we should only tax the ‘rich’?

Hey, something doesn’t add up here....these numbers just don’t make sense.

But of course they do.

(cross posted @ Blogger News Network)