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Massachusetts One Ups New Hampshire With Cigarette Tax Hike

May 10, 2008

This has just been kind of interesting to watch. Massachusetts has approved another $1.00 a pack tax on cigarettes, a tax burden that unfairly affects the poor and disadvantaged at a disproportionate level by the way. A tax that preys on a person’s weakness seems like an extremely vile tax to me in the first place.

 Anyway, once New Hampshire’s liberal, tax and spend, irresponsible governor, John Lynch, heard that Massachusetts was going to raise it’s cigarette tax what do you think that he decided to do? That’s right, raise New Hampshire’s cigarette tax, just not as much as Massachusetts so that Massachusetts residents would still come to New Hampshire for their cigarettes. This will be New Hampshire’s third cigarette tax increase since Governor Lynch took office, and Governor Lynch actually DID justify it during his announcement with the third grade mentality of “I know you are but what am I” politics. He basically said, I know this is another tax increase, but hey, at least it isn’t as much as Massachusetts, as if any state policy should be compared to or based on another state’s policy. In his excitement, Governor Lynch didn’t even wait for Massachusetts new cigarette tax to be voted on or implemented before he announced his new tax. He just couldn’t wait.

 But Massachusetts had a secret little plan in store for New Hampshire to try to slow the tide of residents pouring over the border to feed John Lynch’s (not so) little coffers. A repeal of the state price regulations law that has been in effect since 1945. This little known law made it a fine able offence for stores to sell cigarettes below a state imposed minimum. That’s right, the state actually guaranteed a higher profit for tobacco companies by refusing to allow lower prices on cigarettes. This law was promoted as helping to sway younger people from smoking. Needless to say, the anti-smoking nazis are up in arms about the repeal of this law, but you know what? If it means more people putting tax dollars into the hands of Deval Patrick, than he says to hell with stopping young people from smoking. Deval Patrick and Massachusetts needs more revenue because the casino bill fell through while Deval was in New York signing a million dollar book deal.

 The repeal of the price regulations law in Massachusetts is designed to hopefully lower cigarette prices and keep Massachusetts residents in Massachusetts to buy their cigarettes. In reality cigarette prices will probably remained unchanged, only more money will be headed to the government instead of the tobacco companies.

It will give those who buy cigarettes a break because the price will probably drop enough to mitigate the tax increase,” said the amendment’s sponsor, Sen. Richard Tisei (R-Wakefield). “So consumers might not get whacked with a huge increase.”

 I guess I just have a fundamental difference with this type of thinking. I don’t find it any more reassuring that smokers won’t get wacked, as Senator Tisei puts it, because more and more money is still going to the government that should be left in the people’s pockets. Spending should be cut before taxes are increased but both Massachusetts and New Hampshire don’t seem to understand that simple little point.

 Now that Massachusetts has pulled this little fast one on New Hampshire Governor Lynch, who jumped the gun on his tax increase, has been urged to hold off increasing the cigarette tax to study the effects of the combined  Massachusetts tax hike and price control deregulation. Governor Lynch, in an effort to suck Massachusetts residents dry, played his hand way too early, he exposed his aces in the hole and Massachusetts has caught him.

 Governor Lunch is being told that New Hampshire may gain more revenue by keeping a larger gap in the price of cigarettes between New Hampshire and Massachusetts than if New Hampshire was to increase taxes which would persuade more to just stay in Massachusetts. However Governor Lynch is addicted to new taxes and he wont be able to keep his greedy little hands out of the pot. Cigarette taxes will go up in New Hampshire, Governor Lynch can’t help himself.

 Governor Lynch got played in this whole deal. In his uncontrollable urge for more taxes he played his hand too early and Massachusetts pulled one over on him. Don’t be so overanxious the next time, it is really unbecoming. Especially when you consider the groups you are about to screw over the most.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2008 4:18 pm

    Mass. is one of the many states that be it tax money or tobacco settlement money have siphoned cash from the smoking prevention programs. Quite frankly MA doesn’t care if you light up. Just try to find a place to do it.
    I can’t agree with you thinking on it being a vile tax.

  2. May 10, 2008 8:46 pm

    I called it a vile tax because it preys on people who are addicted to the product, these people will not quit smoking just because of the price, they can’t. The government doesn’t want them to quit, they just want to take advantage of the addiction for their own benefit. That is why I called it vile.
    I am a non-smoker, but I am afraid that these so called sin taxes will spread to more and more habits that the government deems tax worthy.

  3. Deb permalink
    May 11, 2008 8:01 am

    People can do anything they want. If someone really wants to quit smoking, or realizes they simply cannnot afford it, they should be able to quit. Cigarettes are always going to be a target for taxes because big tobacco is seen as the same kind of evil as big oil. It’s true the government doesn’t want people to quit, more tax $$ in their pockets for pork. I think a reason why the tax is vile, is because it’s a tax! The point is, less taxes, smaller government, right?

  4. May 22, 2008 7:48 pm

    The fact is that the tax burden put on smokers is unfair. I use to smoke but quit. It was the hardest thing I ever did and I still fight with the impulse to light up.

    Smokers ARE being discriminated against, with both unfair taxes, AND with state funded ads designed to let everyone know it is OK to treat smokers like leapers, and no one seems to care. Where is the ACLU? Oh thats right. They are busy defending perverts rights to have web sites that discuss and promote man/boy sex, but refuse to try to help stop the discrimination against smokers which by the way is still a LEGAL activity.

    Now that non-smokers are the majority, the legislature KNOWS that non-smokers only care if THEIR taxes get raised and are quite happy that cigarette taxes are raised so they do not have to pay it. The problem is that government cannot cut costs like every business must do when revenues go down, and sooner or later that taxes WILL be transferred to some “other” tax when more and more people quit.

    This state NEEDS people to keep smoking or else it will be in grave financial difficulty, which is WHY they cut/stopped funding to help people quit. That is WHY they will now allow prices to drop lower to help “cushion” the ridiculous price increase.

    It is really sad that the state where this country was born due to unfair taxes (tea taxes then with the Boston Tea Party as the act of defiance), is now one of the worst offenders of unfair taxes.

    To all the non-smokers who think they are doing smokers a “favor” by cheering on every tax hike so they will quit, you are cheering a future tax for yourself. What comes around goes around. ;)

    It is too bad people cannot put themselves in others shoes and care about ANYONE paying such an unfair tax instead of just thinking of themselves. Shame on them.

  5. Deb permalink
    July 1, 2008 5:41 pm

    I was listening to a local radio station today talking about the tax. They made a great point that poster PC said above “what goes around comes around”. They talked about Mass now requiring all residents to have health insure, and that this has to be paid for somehow. They made the point that smoking does indeed cause health risks so taking cigs is understandable. However, over time, this universal health plan Mass has adopted needs to be continually financed. They said the next tax will be on “fast food” as we all know is unhealthy. We hear reports all the time about this. After that, then “fat” people will be taxed. I mean come on, everyone knows that all health risks increase with wieght!! So since they are “causing” so much health problems, taxing them will do them a “favor” just like the cig tax!! Of course we don’t want our children obese!! The government is doing it all for the kids, just like smoking!! Well this soon to be ex-smoker will not take up your cause. You are turning a deaf ear to me so I’ll return the favor (what goes around comes around as stated above). There are FAR more obese people of all ages then there are smokers…..go ahead, tell me food is an addiction for you!!!

  6. Miles Davis permalink
    July 2, 2008 4:01 am

    Wow! Another dollar in the pocket of the great gov. If you ask me, beginning with (but of course not limited to) cigarette tax, this is just one more way for us all to get screwed by the state…and the fact that this kind of legal maneuvering is acceptable is incomprehensible.

    Trust me, the smart people out there realize that there are ways to get around this ridiculous and proposterous tax hike. WE DON’T HAVE TO BUY OUR SMOKES FROM MA OR NH! There are several discount online stores that (including shipping charges) prove to be half the cost of the grossly inflated tax on cigaretts.

  7. Theresa permalink
    July 17, 2008 1:49 am

    I went on the mass.gov website and it apears that I as a Massachusetts resident cannot buy cigarettes online or outside of massachusetts. There is a notice to mass residents which states “It is illegal for Massachusetts residents to possess cigarettes if the cigarette packs do not bear the Massachusetts excise stamp.”

    What a sad state I live in when you take advantage of someones addiction. This is quite reprehensible.

  8. July 17, 2008 7:45 am

    Wow! Thanks for the information, you can bet a post will coming shortly on that subject. You can always move up here.

  9. ukrgdjklzb permalink
    July 25, 2008 3:52 pm

    Is there some state or country out there that still allows voting and/or protests? I miss the old fassion way.

  10. Joe permalink
    March 10, 2009 6:42 am

    Another example of budget deficits being laid on the backs of the poor. Why not a special tax for designer clothes or BMW cars? What’s next, a 10 dollar a pint beer tax in Southie?
    Someone needs to put these legislators in their place, and fast.

  11. Joe permalink
    March 10, 2009 6:51 am

    I propose that ALL smokers apply for EVERY kind of state assistance they are eligible for. Apply for foodstamps, apply for welfare, get on masshealth, heat assistance, ALL OF IT. Let’s take our taxes back.

  12. Heather permalink
    March 10, 2009 2:40 pm

    I think this tax is in every way vile and unfair, they deserve to be hit hard with this one, i know i for one refuse to pay 8 to 9 dollars a pack, F*ck them, let them get slammed the way their trying to slam us!!!!!!

  13. Rick Bostick permalink
    March 11, 2009 1:44 pm

    Good thing we didn’t get rid of the State income tax! If we get rid of that they will just tax us else where right? Like jack up the tolls and the gas tax and now $8 per pack of smokes!! PEOPLE WAKE THE F*CK UP!!!!!! They will get the money one way or another!!! Until we rise up and MAKE them more responsible with OUR money this sh*t will never ever stop!!!!

    When toll booth workers make $65k per yr and State troopers are making $150k plus per yr with details, when people are getting state pensions and STILL working for the state (double dipping) this will never end!!!!

    I for one am a smoker, this is so out of control it makes me sick. To all the people who say “just quit”, f*ck you! I enjoy smoking and until the they make it illegal im going to keep enjoying smoking, that is MY RIGHT!!! Why dont we tax fast food and penalize all the fat people?Why not tax, bullets, guns and tax all the thugs?How about alcohol and tax all the alcoholics?? Wont that get people to quit drinking too? Give me a break Gov. Patrick!!!! Stay in Jamaica on your vacation you piece of sh*t! Oh yeah , glad we could all help pay for the state troopers who are there with you “keeping you safe”!! If thats not the ultimate detail , I dont know what is! WASTE WASTE WAST AND MORE WASTE!!!!!

    No wonder this state is broke, Gov. Patrick couldnt manage a McDonalds never mind the whole state!

    • March 11, 2009 8:25 pm

      Welcome Rick, I hope that you keep coming back. All of those people who thought that voting out the income tax would be irresponsible must be wondering what happened. They thought that if the income tax was voted out that other taxes would be raised, now other taxes are being raised and they still have to pay the income tax. It IS time for Mass. residents to wake up.

  14. rob permalink
    March 14, 2009 11:39 am

    so were is this tax money going hah roads, city,schools what obama u fu.c..k.i.n.g. idiot

  15. March 23, 2009 11:30 am

    I got laid off on 3 – 13 – 09. As I make the sound of the Friday The 13TH Theme…..I am hooked on smokes BIG TIME. Up to almost 3 packs a day. The job I had was running voice and data cables at Harvard University. Smoking this much relieved stress of the job. P{laes note I blame myself only for my smoking weakness. Since Cambridge Massachusettes is almost at the “SHOOT A SMOKER TODAY ” Mentality You have to smoke 25 feet from a building or totally out of sight. I light up when ever I got out of a building which in turn, I believe, Has me chain smoking when I get home. No Anti smoking laws in my home. I know it is unhealthy as hell…..But damn. I am finding it very hard to even slow down. The state has me by the nut sack. I am looking for a site telling me where cheaper smokes are in close states like New Hampshire and Rhode Island. BTW Forget getting smoke from Tribes. I did that years ago Using my credit card, I was told back then No more Credit card sales only Personal checks because ” Under aged children were doing it that way” Even though an Adult had to accept them at your front door to sign for them with an I. D.. So we used the personal check method. SHAME ON ME. MASSACUSETTES THEn SENT US A BILL FOR BACK TAXES FOR A LITTLE OVER $1,000. I COULD OF GOT THE NAMED BRANDS FOR THAT PRICE. Lived all my life in Taxachusetts. the thanks we get for paying taxes all our lives. Oh….I am 56 years old! Thats a boat load of taxes from this man. Boy, I sure found writting this difficult without typing swears.

  16. March 23, 2009 11:32 am

    I got laid off on 3 – 13 – 09. As I make the sound of the Friday The 13TH Theme…..I am hooked on smokes BIG TIME. Up to almost 3 packs a day. The job I had was running voice and data cables at Harvard University. Smoking this much relieved stress of the job. P{laes note I blame myself only for my smoking weakness. Since Cambridge Massachusettes is almost at the “SHOOT A SMOKER TODAY ” Mentality You have to smoke 25 feet from a building or totally out of sight. I light up when ever I got out of a building which in turn, I believe, Has me chain smoking when I get home. No Anti smoking laws in my home. I know it is unhealthy as hell…..But damn. I am finding it very hard to even slow down. The state has me by the nut sack. I am looking for a site telling me where cheaper smokes are in close states like New Hampshire and Rhode Island. BTW Forget getting smoke from Tribes. I did that years ago Using my credit card, I was told back then No more Credit card sales only Personal checks because ” Under aged children were doing it that way” Even though an Adult had to accept them at your front door to sign for them with an I. D.. So we used the personal check method. SHAME ON ME. MASSACUSETTES THEn SENT US A BILL FOR BACK TAXES FOR A LITTLE OVER $1,000. I COULD OF GOT THE NAMED BRANDS FOR THAT PRICE. Lived all my life in Taxachusetts. the thanks we get for paying taxes all our lives. Oh….I am 56 years old! Thats a boat load of taxes from this man. Boy, I sure found writting this difficult without typing swears.

    Reply

  17. Violet permalink
    September 22, 2009 6:37 am

    I moved to Western Mass in the spring of ’08 and had been purchasing cigarettes online prior to that in upstate NY. I had heard ‘stories’ about people getting hit with tax bills, never really thought anything of it, couldn’t understand how buying anything online could be regulated to this extent… Most of the time I’ve lived here, I’ve bought cigarettes via traditional routes. But, I did purchase some online when I actually had enough money to order more than a carton at a time. Guess what? I just got a tax notice (failure to file) with penalties for the purchase of 15 cartons between Sept 08 and December 08. The total? $446.
    So let me get this straight. They raise cigarette prices (to curb underage smoking, to encourage people to quit, whatever the reasoning) and the working poor either has to suck it up and pay the increase or quit. No choice. That “choice” was already taken away from us when we became addicted to a product that our government allowed be sold to us. And to make sure we, “the people” have NO CHOICE, they make it illegal to purchase and possess out of state, non-stamped cigarettes?
    I started smoking when I was 13 years old. I’m now 37. I’ve tried to quit many times, to no avail. I have asthma (which I had prior to starting) and now have symptoms of emphysema. This isn’t a cakewalk for me. If anyone wants to be free of this addiction, it’s me.
    The anti-smoking stuff in MASS is a joke. I had to DIG to find out information that was readily available for NY residents at every turn. There are support groups in Mass, but you have to pay to attend! So I’m to shell out even more money to a state who doesn’t seem to give a wit about its residents? I don’t think so. It may not work, then I’m out even more money than I’m already out because of this disease.
    Like other posters have said, this is a truly unfair practice- that of targeting the poor, the addicted, the disadvantaged of MASS. Because really, do you think the rich are going to buy cigs online? Doubt it.
    I don’t know how I’m going to pay this tax bill. I lost my job in Dec. of ’08 and have been struggling to pay the bills as it is. Part of the reason I bought cigarettes online was to be able to afford my other bills, because so much of my income was going towards this detestable addiction. No matter what I do, it’s not good enough in this state, and after 1.5 years of being hit with this tax and that tax, I’ve about had enough!
    I for one am seriously considering moving back to NY. The taxes there aren’t great, but I’ve yet to see this many taxes/penalties/fees in the 12 years I lived there. In MASS, it seems you have to pay a tax just to for the privilege of being alive on the commonwealth’s soil.

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