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Nap Time!!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Where there's smoke there's tax

Prop 86! Basically, it'll slap a $2.60 tax on packs of cigarettes, which is something like a 300% tax increase, maybe increasing the cost by 60% or so. It'll be spent on hospitals and medical programs, including expanding the "Healthy Families Program" to illegal immigrants. I guess the program offers health insurance to kids. I'm pointing out this particular spending aspect because I know a lot of people care about it. I should also point out that this expansion isn't necessarily covered by this tax, and may require funding from other sources in the future.

A lot of the money goes to covering emergency care for hospitals that are otherwise unpaid for. It also gives them some exemption from antitrust laws. The opponents suggest that the hospitals will start charging a shitload for emergency care for the uninsured, so that they can get a bunch of money from the government.

A 60% price increase is quite a bit. I don't smoke, so I don't know how much this will matter to folks, but it might convince folks to import their cigarettes (i.e. avoid the tax). Any smokers out there want to enlighten us?

One nifty detail is that the ginormous tax increase is being exempted in the constitution from the requirements of Prop 98, which says that 40% of taxes must go towards education.

Since overpopulation is a big problem, and Prop 86 may save lives, and will probably cost money in the future, I'm going to endorse a mild NO on it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/06/2006 08:19:00 PM #
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