Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Raise Tobacco Taxes

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Raise Tobacco Taxes

Article excerpt

With the commonwealth currently experiencing a structural deficit of $1.8 billion, we need to focus on raising revenue for the 2016- 17 budget. We cannot keep making cuts to expenditures, as these cuts have been hitting education and human services resources strongly.

One of the most effective ways to raise revenue, both from a financial perspective and a health care perspective, is to tax tobacco products such as cigars and smokeless tobacco.

Pennsylvania is the only state in the United States that does not tax smokeless tobacco, and Pennsylvania is one of two states in the nation that does not tax cigars. A tax on these two items and an increase in the cigarette tax from $1.60 to $2.60 would raise about $600 million that could help close the deficit we face. …

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