Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Good Tax the Pa. Budget Should Draw More from Tobacco

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Good Tax the Pa. Budget Should Draw More from Tobacco

Article excerpt

While the budget framework worked out by the governor and legislative leaders contains a 21 percent sales tax increase (from 6 percent to 7.25 percent), it's hard to fathom why the tentative plan doesn't call for raising the cigarette tax.

Pennsylvania, after all, is hobbled by a $2 billion deficit, yet the $1.60-a-pack sin tax has been unchanged since 2009. Even worse, this is the only state that doesn't tax cigars and other tobacco products.

Several officials close to the budget talks say some attention is now being given to new taxes on tobacco. Let's hope they're serious because the benefits are real.

A $1 hike in the cigarette tax, which Gov. Tom Wolf had proposed earlier, would generate an estimated $358 million a year. Pennsylvania's tax is not excessive - it's the same as the national average and lower than New York's ($4.35) and Maryland's ($2).

A higher tax would reduce tobacco consumption and the myriad health problems it generates. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.