Wednesday, April 1, 2009

IL wants to raise the state cig tax to $1

This new governor is just as stupid as Rod was in signing the statewide smoking ban into law.

If Quinn thinks youngstas are gonna be more inclined to not smoke by making cigs more expensive, he's crazy. A youngsta can do somethang like steal $10 outta one of his/her parents' wallets, and buy a pack. Or sh!t, that youngsta won't have to worry about buying cigs for a while if he/she knows an "older smoker" who intends on pulling off a robbery to get cigs.

And as far as motivating ME to quit...well Quinn would have a heart attack if he read my thoughts on why I have no intention on ever quitting. (A huge cig heist in this state would make him think twice on the STATE tax increase)

Make sure you catch IL's reason for raising the state tax...the senate wants IL smokers to help pay the state's Medicaid bills. So when someone buys a pack in IL, they helping fund SCHIP AND help pay overdue Medicaid bills.

(When smokers around me steal their cigs, Quinn won't have to worry about some of us paying ANY medical bills!)


As a 62-cent federal tax hike on packs of cigarettes hits stores today, lawmakers in Springfield are considering an additional $1 tax over two years that would make Chicago among the most expensive cities in America to buy cigarettes.

A state Senate committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would increase Illinois' 98-cent tax on cigarette packs by 50 cents this year and another 50 cents next year to pay down the state's backlog of Medicaid bills. But for weary smokers still smarting from a statewide ban on lighting up in bars and restaurants, the tax increases are seen as yet another government-led assault on their lifestyle.

"These are my last packs. It's just getting to be too much money," said Larry Gasper of Orland Hills, one of the countless smokers who flocked to city and suburban cigarette retailers Tuesday before the federal tax spike. "They're just taxing us to death. I've had it."

The rising prices will affect retailers in different ways, pushing the average cost of a pack of cigarettes over $5 in many of the collar counties, about $8 in Cook County and more than $9 in Chicago, retailers estimated.

Though higher costs might drive some to quit or at least scale back their smoking, the reality, smokers said, is that if it were easy to quit many would have done so already.

"I think smokers are more likely to cut back on other things they buy than cigarettes," said Cathy Bay, who stocked up on cartons at the Tobacco House near her home in Tinley Park. "It's too tough. For older people who've been smoking most of their lives and now they have to deal with this, it's a difficult situation."

Others fear budget-minded smokers will find good deals wherever they can, even if it means driving to another state.

"This is an aggressive tax. It will cost Illinois tax revenue, slow the economic recovery, and it will cost Illinois jobs," said Bill Fleischli, executive vice president of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores.

In Springfield, Gov. Pat Quinn signaled support for the cigarette tax increase that advanced on a 7-5 party-line vote of the Democratic-controlled Senate Executive Committee because it reflects his March 18 budget proposal.

Quinn said the higher cost of cigarettes will stop youngsters from becoming smokers and cause some older smokers to quit. "Raising the price is actually a key way to do that," he said.

It's the kind of news smokers said they're used to hearing.

"A few years ago, I would have said $8 is too much for a pack of cigarettes. Now I say $10 is too much," said Andy Gleeson of Chicago's Northwest Side. "I've had to cut back on how much I'm smoking, but I'm not quitting yet."

No comments: