Tax Rascal

Light Up Quick! Proposed Tax Would Make Smoking More Expensive

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Imagine, for a second, that you’re a smoker, which, if you’re a smoker, should be easy. You’ve triumphed over brownish teeth and the lingering stench of stale smoke. You’ve bravely ignored the highly increased risk of lung cancer in the noble pursuit of having something to do with hands while you drink.

What’s your reward? Finding out that people are overwhelmingly in favor of making your addictive and potentially deadly habit MORE expensive.

67% of voters favor a $1 tax per pack of cigarettes, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson foundation. Voters far prefer this tax to budget cuts or other tax increases. The report indicates that states could raise up $9 billion to help counter the … Read more...

Drink Up! Soft-Drink Industry Dodges Tax

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Do you like to pair your quintuple-cheeseburger (The High Five!) with a soft drink big enough to swim in and loaded with enough fizzy additives to clean limestone?

Are you a lobbyist for a large soda company that long ago traded your chance for any sort of spiritual salvation for piles of stress and increasingly redundant money?

Are you perhaps a lawmaker who long ago became jaded and no longer harbors any delusion about helping people?

If you answered “yes” or “huh?” to any or all of these questions, there’s good news for you out of Washington: The soft-drink industry has doused plans to tax their sugary concoctions. Mere months ago, it looked bleak for pop-makers: public health advocates … Read more...

California In Financial Hardship: Turns to Drugs

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California is dealing with the most intense budget crunch in the country. One proposal for dealing with the financial hardship is one quite familiar to glassy-eyed freshman on 3 a.m. Taco Bell runs everywhere: marijuana.

Who says money can’t grow on trees?

While this plan doesn’t involve special heatlamps and a closet full of contraband, it would seek to profit from the growing and distribution of marijuana. Growers, retailers and distributors in California (where the drug is legal) would have to register with the state and pay a licensing fee. The drug itself would be subject to a tax of up to 41%.

State Senator Ron Calderon is to introduce the bill, which is being pushed by Board of … Read more...


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