Pennsylvanians are among the highest taxed citzens in the United States.
We endure income tax, sales tax, wage tax, per capita tax, school tax, county tax, municipal tax, road tax, right-to-work tax, gasoline tax, use tax, cigarette tax ..and the list goes on ..
How about tax on tax?
Did you know that every package of cigarettes bought in the state carries a $1.00 cigarette tax. This was raised from $.30 per pack in 2002.
This tax was put on to help balance the state budget. Smokers were chosen to bear the burden of the budget shortfall.
Smokers were the easy and politicallly correct target to shoulder this burden, witnessed by the very little public outcry on increasing this tax.
When you purchase a pack of cigarettes for $4.00, the price includes the $1.00 cigarette tax. The cigarettes actually cost $3.00.
At the checkout counter you pay $4.00, plus the state 6% sales tax on the entire $4.00, or $.24. That's a 6% tax on the $1.00 cigarette tax!
How about this?
Suppose you owed $400 state income tax next year. Would you be surprised if your bill was $424.00? Just adding a 6% sales tax on the tax you owe. Anything wrong with that? You bet there is!
How about this?
Did you know that every pack of cigarettes sold in Pennsylvania has a few cents earmarked toward CHIP (Childrens Health Insurance Program)? Wouldn't you think the state would want to keep cigarettes affordable? After all, that huge multi-million dollar states' settlement with the cigarette companies, financed with the companies' raising the price of cigarettes so they don't suffer financially, will pay for smokers' lung, heart and long-term health problems.
Write or email your Representative today!
Let him or her know that we Pennsylvanians are just sick and tired of paying tax on tax on our cigarettes, while doing the morally correct thing by supporting CHIP.
Suggest that the cigarette tax be replaced by some other user tax, to be paid by those who can better afford it.
How about a $2.00 greens fees tax at the golf course? Wait, that will never fly. The lawyers and politicians play golf!
Find your Representative here. Find your state Senator here, if you can!
January 7, 2004 update. Our newly elected tax and spend Democratic governor, Ed Rendell, has today upped the PA cigarette tax another 35 cents, now a total of $1.35 per pack, $13.50 per carton. My prediction is that this new tax will decrease revenues into the state coffers as smokers will look for options: quit, roll your own, buy cigarettes online from any of the many online web sites operated by foreign vendors or the American Indians. There are savings online up to $20.00 per carton.
Way to go, Ed!
Package of Marlboros in: Kentucky $2.85 Pennsylvania $4.85
Gallon of regular gasoline in: Missouri $1.10 Pennsylvania $1.59
Sales tax rate in: Delaware 0% Pennsylvania 6%
Pennsylvania History - The Real Story