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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sin Tax Hike?

    If you drink beer and smoke cigarettes, and who doesn't in this state, this is a lousy way to start a new week.  The governor is willing to hike the sin taxes on both.
    All this surfaced during one of those infamous closed door-high level meetings last Thursday as the governor and four legislative leaders huddled to find some way to fill in the $2 billion hole in the state budget.
    The governor proposed a 'list of options" that included doubling the beer tax and slapping another twenty-five cents on a pack of smokes.
     The beer tax is now a measly 1.9 cents per twelve ounces.  That would go to 3.8 cents and net about $42 million in new money.
     The tobacco tax would go from $2.00 a pack to $2.25 and raise about $53 million.  That would be on top of the 62 cent a pack increase imposed by the federal government on April 1st.  Pretty soon smoking around here is going to get expensive.
     But just because the governor is willing to go there, that does not mean the four leaders will tag along.  House Speaker Andy Dillon said last week that Michigan's beer tax would be out of line with other states in the region, so he's against it.
     And the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, who generally has no aversion to hiking taxes, won't touch the beer tax.  Rep. George Cushingberry says it would be a form of political suicide since folks who drink beer in this state, also vote.
    And if ole "Cush" can figure that out, betya the other 147 lawmakers, many of whom are running for something next year, can too.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easy target. Same old story, no real reform. It gets old.

( your fon't is hard on the eyes, try not using bold.)

August 4, 2009 at 7:00 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, North Carolina just passed their "sin tax" which directly impacts the burgeoning wine industry here. The oldest and largest winery, Duplin Winery, says "NO" and absorbs the tax so it is not passed on to the consumer. A sin tax is a mistake and only serves to hurt the consumer and really impact the farmers who are already so hard hit in this economy. Duplin Winery is dealing with this increase by saying "no" and not passing the increase on to the consumer. With many states facing the same budget decisions, this may be an action where other wineries follow Duplin Winery's lead.

I wanted to pass on this news that was reported in a North Carolina newspaper. http://www.duplinwinery.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=146&cntnt01returnid=51

August 11, 2009 at 2:25 AM 

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