California to Vote for Cigarettes Tax Hike
Back in 2012 lawmakers in California, USA, rejected a proposal to impose a tax increase of $1 per cigarettes pack. However, today the state came around to the issue but this time they want to increase tax to $2 per pack.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the state Board of Equalization said the proposed initiative would not just raise the cigarette excise tax, but also include an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
Money from the 2012 tax increase was proposed to be directed to cancer research. It is estimated that the new tax increase would bring to state an annual revenue from $1.1 to $1.4 billion. It is proposed that 82% of those money to be directed to fund California’s struggling health care programs.
Advocates supporting the measure are confident that this time tax increase would be approved by Californian lawmakers, especially after fail in 2012 when the majority voted against it. As a result, that was considered the narrowest defeat of any statewide measure in the Californian history. The advocates also told that in the next year there will take place a presidential election which may bring out left-leaning voters.
In order to get victory, California Attorney General Kamala Harris must present an official summary and title by the mid of December. Then advocates should gather the 365,880 voter signatures in order to succeed on the ballot.
However, the initiave has not only supporters but opposers too. One of them is Cynthia Cabrera, president of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), who disagrees that smoking alternatives are as harmful as regular tobacco products. Particularly the talk is about vapor products.
Tobacco comapnies also do oppose. David Sutton, a spokesperson for Altria Group Inc, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, said that at the moment they are reviewing the present initiative.
A survey made last year demonstrated that 67% of California voters support a $2-per-pack increase, and 30% oppose it.