02/26/2014 by syrbal-labrys
We have a tax issue, you see. The state’s coffers are very near dry. This is for a few reasons — property taxes took a dive as the recession led to home losses, for instance. And then there is this bastard named Tim Eyman who basically makes his living being an asshole telling the apparently none-too-bright citizens of Washington that they shouldn’t have to actually PAY for government services like schools, roads, cops, fire departments, and so forth.
So, in desperation, Washington decided to go for the “sin tax” — they taxed alcohol and cigarettes within an inch of the livelihoods of the folks selling such products. In fact, Washington had a drop in cigarette use— people QUIT smoking. The average cheap pack of smokes here is $7. For 20 cigarettes.
Well, so many folks quit smoking that the state didn’t realize it’s dreams of cash to pay state bills. So, some bright-as-a-bag-of-hammers type in Olympia (Guess which party, I dare you? Pro-business my ASS!) has a new idea: TAX e-cigarettes now. At 95% of the sale price. Let me make that easy, if the little vial of nicotine is $10 now, when the state clips on THEIR price tag, that same little bottle will be $19.95.
I dont’ smoke. I don’t use e-cigarettes, in spite of the fact that nicotine reduces some of my chronic pain issues rather drastically. But I think this is stupid. It will destroy the many small businesses that sell e-cig supplies. Oh, and btw, the state wants to make it illegal for ANY business ANYwhere to sell e-cig supplies by mail or internet to any citizen of Washington State. Whoa. Isn’t that a interstate commerce issue and thereby under the FEDERAL government’s purview? Wouldn’t that be completely illegal interference from the state? And what hypocrites you are to pull this: I can buy guns over the internet, or CIGARS, for pity’s sake—but you want to make this single item illegal to attempt wringing your tax dollars out of a small minority of citizens?
And then what is next, searching cars at the state line with Oregon when Washington e-cig users simply drive down and stock up? Gee, Olympia — can’t you think of something more worthwhile to do with your time than pick on smokers and nicotine addicts? After all, you are attacking a LEGAL item of commerce.
E-cigarettes don’t cause forest fires as do regular smokes tossed out car windows.
E-cigarettes don’t cause second hand smoke that can sicken family members of a smoker.
E-cigarettes do not contain the tars and toxins of smoking an actual cigarette and thus do not contribute to lung cancer.
E-cigarettes do not STINK.
If the state wants money, how about you tax the fast food joints that let folks take food out in “disposable” containers….which then litter every damned roadside in the state, necessitating clean up crews? How about you tax junk food like chips, candy, and such that contribute to obesity in the state — I mean, hell’s bells, if you want to go after a sin? Gluttony makes the list, but I don’t recall smoking even making the list.
Tax sodas and plastic water containers. There are any number of things that you could tax at a tiny percentage that would affect MOST consumers; but no, hell no, pick on the folks using e-cigarettes. You are a bunch of shameless, cowardly chickenshits if you do this….and yes, to my OWN local reps, I will be watching how you vote on this bullshit. In fact, you will doubtless be hearing from me soon.
If you live in Washington State, please find out who your state senator and representatives are and tell them that taxation should be EQUALLY applied across a population instead of seeking out something vulnerable that they think won’t piss off most constituents. Also, IF the goal is really getting money to pay bills — tax something MORE people use in moderate quantities instead of massively overtaxing something few people use.