The Cigarette Tax

Published 1:58 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Town Council made the decision last week to establish a cigarette tax-27 cents for a pack of 20 cigarettes.

The decision wasn't made because Town Council is tax-happy but because the majority of council members believe the additional revenue stream is needed. We endorsed the proposed tax, for the same reason, and applaud Town Council for putting it in place.

Not a single Town resident spoke against the tax during the public hearing but representatives of five Farmville retailers were adamant in their opposition, fearing the tax will hurt their business, perhaps to the extent of affecting employment, because smokers will begin buying their cigarettes in stores beyond the Town limits and the tax.

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We applaud them for voicing their concerns and for doing so in a very civil manner. It is everyone's hope that the cigarette tax will prove to have no more impact on in-town retailers than the meals tax has had on in-town restaurants.

Restaurants in the Town of Farmville have seen business increase for three consecutive years-$37,295,893 in 2010, $38,988,223 in 2011 and $39,984,265 last year, consecutive increases in business of a million dollars or more.

The meals tax hasn't hurt their business one bit.

May our other retailers experience a similar fate.