Local Cigarette Tax Would Be Unfair

Published 3:23 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Editor, The Herald:

I would like to comment on the Town Of Farmville's planned proposal to locally tax cigarettes by an additional 27 cents per pack. This will be in addition to the Federal Government's $1.01 tax per pack and the State of Virginia's 30 cent tax per pack. President Obama has an additional proposed Federal tax increase of 94 cents per pack in his latest budget request. Each year the states receive additional billions from the 1998 Tobacco Settlement Agreement with the tobacco companies which is passed along to the tobacco consumer. Don't you think smokers are already paying enough for their sins? Why are you asking a specific group to pay for the budget needs of the town that will benefit each citizen of the town. Is it the politically correct thing to do because it's just those 'smokers'? If you're doing it for public health concerns why don't you come out and say so as Mayor Bloomberg of NYC does. How about a local tax on some other legal products that are known to be harmful or distasteful including alcohol, soft drinks, mega burgers, tattoos, salt, tanning booths, etc. It is a fact that the majority of smokers are in the lower to middle class income and education level of America. I think there are much fairer and balanced ways to generate town operating income than on the backs of smokers.

Tucker Joyce

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