Burning Money

Every day this week, Americans for Tax Reform will feature a different California tax as part of our CA Budget Tax of the Day series. Today’s selection is Senate Bill 600, a 185% tax hike on cigarettes that would cost Californians a whopping $1.2 billion in FY 2010. The following points were included in a press release issued yesterday.
If SB 600 is enacted:
  • The state cigarette excise tax will rise by $1.50 per pack – a whopping 185% increase.
  • Another $1.2 billion will be confiscated from Californians’ pockets during a recession and after the legislature already enacted the largest tax increase in state history earlier this year.
  • The effect of SB 600 would be felt predominantly by those least able to afford it. On average, smokers make $36,000  – about 30% less than non-smokers.
  • Some rural California counties have a median income of less than $10,000 – pack a day smokers in these counties would see 16.5% of their yearly income go to state and federal taxes
  • The statewide average price per pack will rise from $5.38 to $7.28, providing significant incentive for consumers to look for cheaper cigarettes in bordering states, online, and through the sophisticated black market operations that already exist.
To read the rest of the press release, Click Here