Posts tagged: Finance

Budget ideas get creative

Tweet If Washington’s budget problems get too terrible to solve, can’t the state borrow money? Or could it issue bonds against future Lottery earnings or future tobacco-lawsuit payments to the state? Why not sell off state assets such as land? Or just leave the state budget unbalanced for a year or so – until the economy gets better and money is flowing again? Gov. Chris Gregoire has suggested selling some state surplus lands, but she and h ... Jump to full article >>

Cigarette tax jumps 84 percent in proposal

Tweet Proponents estimate it would generate an additional $136 million annually. Smokers say it’s way too much. Health advocates say it’s not nearly enough. The current tax on a pack of 20 smokes is 64 cents. It kicks $63 million into the state treasury each year. Opponents of tobacco use told the panel to go for it and forward the measure to the full Unicameral for debate. They cited the health hazards linked to smoking. On the contrary, say ... Jump to full article >>

Tobacco funds could save state health care, says auditor general

Tweet Pennsylvania has burned through over $1 billion in tobacco settlement money that has floated away like a plume of smoke from its original mission. At least, that’s what Auditor General Jack Wagner says. “Today is a clarion call about where we’re going in the future,” said Wagner. The tobacco settlement sends $370 million a year to Pennsylvania – money that used to fund adultBasic and smoking cessation programs ... Jump to full article >>

Committee snuffs out tobacco tax hike

Tweet CHARLESTON — Smokers can relax and light up without fear of digging into their wallets to cough up an extra $1 per pack of cigarettes. An lack of interest from the House Finance Committee led to the demise of a proposed hike in the tobacco tax, leaving in the lurch an anticipated $60 million for cessation programs and money to treat addicts. A disappointed House Health and Human Resources Chairman Don Perdue, D-Wayne, lamented the demise ... Jump to full article >>

Smokers hot under the collar over tobacco tax

Tweet Local writer, commentator and avid smoker Mer Lee Cho-kwan has rallied pro-smoking groups to oppose further increases in tobacco tax. “The cigarette is my best partner. I will be furious if the government increases the tax,” said Lee, convener of the two- year-old I Smoke Alliance and a smoker for 35 years. A petition opposing further tax hikes was jointly organized in Mong Kok yesterday by the alliance and Momentum 107. “ ... Jump to full article >>

Still’s cigarette tax hike proposal solid

Tweet Mary Still, our 25th District state representative, is a strong advocate for a higher cigarette tax. I’m on her side, and I would think many House members on both sides of the aisle would support her bill’s passage. Mary is quick to supply the numbers — with help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Missouri Budget Project. Here are a few figures to support her argument. Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in ... Jump to full article >>

Appeals court upholds Missouri’s use of tobacco settlement money

Tweet A Missouri appellate court upheld a ruling exempting the state from a 2003 act directing it to contribute 25 percent of the money from the 1998 tobacco settlement to life sciences starting in 2007. In 2003, the General Assembly created the Life Sciences Research Trust Fund. The act creating the fund directs the state treasurer to contribute 25 percent of settlement earnings starting in 2007 into the fund “to perform research to better ser ... Jump to full article >>

Numerous benefits to hike in tobacco tax

Tweet We’re all for raising the tax on cigarettes by $1 a pack. In our view, anything that makes cigarettes more expensive accomplishes the goal of keeping people — young people, especially — from taking up the habit. And as cigarettes become more of a drain on their daily finances, more and more smokers decide to give it up. Often, cost is the last straw that pushes longtime smokers to finally accomplish what they had procrastinated doing ... Jump to full article >>

New year brings new city tobacco tax

Tweet ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Smokers in Anchorage can expect to shell out 75 cents more for a pack of cigarettes in 2011. Money from the tobacco tax, which is also an effort to cut down on the number of smokers, will be filtered back into the community. Anchorage Assembly Chair Dick Traini says the tax is expected to raise over $5 million a year. That money will go toward offsetting property taxes and into the Anchorage Fire Department’s ... Jump to full article >>

Fee on off-brand cigarettes suggested

Tweet AUSTIN — A state facing a severe budget shortfall might be missing an easy opportunity to increase revenue and finance public health costs at the same time, said a spokesman for big tobacco. Texas is only one of two states that do not impose a fee on off-brand cigarettes sold by companies that didn’t participate in the historic tobacco settlement a decade ago. Also, Texas levies only a 2-cent tax on a pack of “little cigars ... Jump to full article >>