Massachusetts One Ups New Hampshire With Cigarette Tax Hike
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.