I'd like to have a pie chart showing the cost I pay versus the state & federal & any other TAXES. Please send me something to show folks how much I pay towards taxes on each pack I smoke. Thanks!!!
Over 50% of the price of a pack of cigarettes in Pennsylvania currently goes to the government. Click here to see Pennsylvania-specific tobacco and cigarette tax revenue information, as well as to learn how you can become and stay involved in defeating tobacco tax increases. Please be sure to register on the site so we can keep you informed of tobacco-related issues in your area.
Across the country, legislators continue to try to solve their state budget woes by imposing new taxes that unfairly target adult tobacco consumers instead of working on long-term budget solutions. So far this year, adult tobacco consumers and small business owners have spoken out against tobacco tax issues in 18 states. Over 15,000 individuals have contacted their legislators to tell them: No new tobacco taxes!
The good news is: your efforts have been successful! Thank you! Your direct involvement has helped defeat proposed tobacco tax increases in states like Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, and West Virginia. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, legislators in Connecticut and Vermont voted to raise tobacco taxes.
Proposed tax increases still linger in several states and new tax proposals are always a threat. We still need your help!
Earlier this year, the Partnership for a More Perfect Union-a collaborative effort launched by the Congressional Management Foundation to help improve the relationship between citizens and Congress-released the results of its survey: Communicating with Congress: Perceptions of Citizen Advocacy on Capitol Hill.
One of the major findings of the survey is that constituent communications are one of the most important ways to influence Members of Congress: "Whether individuals make contact face-to-face, by phone, or through personalized email or postal mail, Senators and Representatives are influenced by their constituents' own views about the public policy issues before them."
The message is clear-your letters, emails, phone calls, meetings, and other personal involvement make a difference to your legislators. Personalize your communications and tell your own story in your own words. Including how you are affected by current issues or a proposed bill is an important component to creating an impactful message.
This fall a number of important elections will be held across the country. These include a variety of state and local races, gubernatorial elections, and special elections.
Voting is one of the most important ways to make your voice heard. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8 in most locales. Be sure to confirm that you're registered to vote and head to the polls on Election Day. You can get more information about registering to vote and election deadlines in your state by clicking here.
Below is an overview of some key 2011 election states and registration and election dates.
Governor and other state-wide offices.
Registration deadline-October 11, 2011.
Governor, other state-wide offices, and every state legislator.
For the gubernatorial election and all state elections, a primary will be held on October 22; if no candidate wins more than 50%, a run-off of the top two vote getters will be held on November 19. Registration deadline-September 21, 2011.
Governor, and other state-wide offices;
state legislators; ballot measures/referendums.
Registration deadline-October 8, 2011
(October 9 for mail-in registration).
Special Congressional election (2nd District).
Registration deadline-August 27 (August 14 for mail-in and online registration).
State legislators and ballot measures/referendum.
Registration deadline-October 18.
Registration deadline-October 17.
Special gubernatorial election will be held on October 4.
Despite a 2009 law giving the U.S. Food & Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products, legislators at all levels of government are considering more laws to further regulate flavored tobacco products. For example:
Utah proposed banning the sale of all smokeless tobacco products and pipe tobacco with characterizing flavors other than tobacco or menthol.
Washington State proposed banning the sale of smokeless tobacco, cigars, and other tobacco products with characterizing flavors other than tobacco.
Local governments have also proposed tobacco flavor bans. For example:
New York City passed a law, subject to a lawsuit, that would ban flavored tobacco products in the city - with an exception made for mint and wintergreen smokeless tobacco products.
The Santa Clara, CA County Board of Supervisors also passed legislation banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, but has agreed to delay enforcement until October 1, 2011 pending further developments.
Unlike the state legislative process, where proposed tax increases and new regulations typically are considered at multiple levels before becoming law, local laws often are proposed and enacted very quickly. As a result, citizens often have little or no time to share their perspective. Last year, flavored tobacco products represented approximately 32% of smokeless tobacco and 54% of cigars. Banning the sale of these products is unfair to adult consumers who prefer them.
Many interested Idahoans recently united to form a coalition to fight a proposed $1.25 increase in the state's cigarette excise tax. Members made their voices heard by attending a rally at the capitol, asking their customers to sign petitions, hosting letter writing desks, and writing letters to the editor. Importantly, they also wrote, called and met with their legislators. These and other activities reminded Idaho legislators that targeted taxes are unfair and can cost jobs.
Thanks to the coalition's efforts, the campaign was successful! Congratulations to these Idahoans for their important efforts. Your partnership was critical!
Californians currently face a double threat of two very different cigarette tax proposals – one in the legislature and one at the ballot. Both of the proposals would also result in tax increases on smokeless tobacco products.
The legislative proposal, SB 330, would increase the cigarette excise tax by $1.50 per pack to $2.37-higher than all of the surrounding states.
The ballot initiative, called the California Cancer Research Act, will be voted on in the next statewide election. This initiative would raise the cigarette tax by $1.00 per pack.
Currently, over half of the cost of a pack of cigarettes in California already goes to the government. California's legislators need to be reminded that now is not the time for more taxes!
Although it's unclear when these proposals will be brought up for consideration, it's very important for Californians to make your voices heard now. Please pay attention to these proposals and get involved:
Tell others about these proposals and encourage them to stay vigilant.
Make sure your state legislators know that you're opposed to cigarette tax hikes, such as SB 330. Click here for the latest news or here for detailed information on how you can contact your legislators.