The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

12 May 2004

And curse Sir Walter Raleigh

Three Republicans in the Oklahoma Senate have put together a counterproposal to Governor Henry's tobacco-tax plan.

The two measures, despite a 44-cent-per-pack difference, are much alike. Henry's package calls for increasing the current 23-cent tax to 78 cents, and using much of the difference to finance health-care initiatives. In addition, the Governor wants to toss out the state's capital-gains tax and eliminate the trigger mechanism that raises the top income-tax rate when revenues fall short.

The GOP pushes the tax all the way to $1.22, supports the health-care measures, and will phase in a reduction of the top income-tax rate.

I'm a nonsmoker the easy way, so the bill which passes — probably a compromise package at the $1 level — will put a few coins in my pocket, since the top income-tax bracket is set so low that even I pay it. But I'm still disturbed by the manifest belief of politicians on both sides that it's okay to stick it to smokers. (Can you say "oppressed minority"? Sure. I knew you could.) And what kind of world is this where Republicans push for a tax increase — and a bigger tax increase than the Democrats seek, yet? The Legislature is evidently smoking something that the state doesn't tax.

Posted at 9:28 PM to Soonerland

TrackBack: 11:51 AM, 13 May 2004
» Meanwhile the BootLeggers Cackle in Delight from Acorns from an Okie
Gov. Henry and the state GOP are in an armstaxes race over cigarettes in Oklahoma. Mike at writes in And curse Sir Walter Raleigh: The two measures, despite a 44-cent-per-pack difference, are much alike. Henry's package calls......[read more]

Wow, same thing is happening here in Michigan. Governor Granholm (d) proposed a plan to increase the cigarette tax to something like $2 a pack (we'd be #2 in the nation behind New Jersey for size of tax on cigs), and was quickly outdone by the Republican speaker of the House, Rick Johnson, who proposed raising it an extra few cents to ensure that Michigan would have the highest cigarette taxes in the nation. Each proposal would support health care.

An odd situation, for sure. But smokers are a minority that no one cares about anymore.

Posted by: marc at 9:52 PM on 12 May 2004

I wonder if pre-execution smokes will be tax-exempt in honor of Sir Walter.

Posted by: Tom at 7:26 AM on 13 May 2004

Libertarians blast GOP tax hike plan

Posted by: Chris at 10:51 AM on 13 May 2004

One has to wonder whether these legislators are getting "campaign contributions" from the gangs, some of which have terrorist links, involved in buttlegging.

Posted by: triticale at 7:44 AM on 14 May 2004

Did you read about the purported 100,000 now former smokers in New York because of the trifecta of horrendous taxes, inability to smoke in bars and restaurants, and...(I actually forget the other one, and I'm supposed to be working, so I'm not going to go look it up).

Smokers stick it to themselves. They're a minority by choice. (At least the first cigarette was a choice - no idea how many it takes one to become addicted, and I'll never know). Choice implies that smokers can remove themselves from this "oppressed minority" and by doing so, amazingly, no longer pay these cigarette taxes.

I feel the same way about alcohol vice taxes. No real issue with it. And I like my wine. A lot.


Posted by: hln at 1:21 PM on 14 May 2004


So you think it's OK for politicians to use government to target some, favor others, and generally shape society according to their own whims?

Posted by: Chris at 6:42 PM on 14 May 2004