State Representative Harold Ritchie has proposed a cigarette tax hike of 194%. A tax hike as massive as this one will mean fewer jobs for residents of your state as tobacco sales make up approximately one-third of sales for local businesses such as convenience stores.
Cigarette tax hikes such as this have also harmed tax revenues across the country. When New Jersey raised its cigarette tax by 17.5 cents in 2007, that tax increase brought in $52 million less than Garden State lawmakers expected and $22 million less than was generated by the pre-increase rate. In fact, of the 57 tobacco tax increases enacted by states between 2003 and 2008, only 16 met initial revenue projections.
The Louisiana Legislature must tighten its belt by putting expenditures in line with revenue and not resort to using budget gimmicks to balance the budget. Now is your time to act; tell your Representative to vote no on HB 63.