tax increases

The Issues:

Tax increases on tobacco products at both the state and federal level continue to be one of our biggest concerns.

State and Local Tobacco Tax Increases

In recent years, many state and local governments have raised tobacco taxes to help balance their budgets and help fund new programs:

  • Hundreds of cities, towns, and counties also impose local cigarette excise taxes.
  • Since FY 2000, federal and state governments have increased their cigarette excise tax rates more than 145 times.  Numerous localities have increased local excise tax rates as well.
  • More than half of the average price of a pack of cigarettes now goes to the government in taxes and other fees.

Why Tobacco Tax Increases Matter to You

  • Increased tobacco excise taxes can hurt your business by driving adult tobacco consumers to other sources such as across state and municipal borders to purchase lower priced tobacco—while there, they may purchase other retail products, such as milk, bread, and gasoline as well.  This results in lost sales and revenue, not only for retailers, but local municipalities and states as well.
  • Cigarette and other tobacco product sales account for over 38% of all in-store sales at convenience stores nationwide, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores.
  • Cigarette tax increases can create additional incentives for criminal activity, including contraband and counterfeit tobacco product trafficking.
  • Cigarette sales in the U.S. continue to decline each year.  This can create funding shortfalls in state and local programs that rely on cigarette tax revenues.  Those revenue gaps then create pressure for additional tax increases.
  • Tax increases are not the answer, especially in this economic climate.  States and municipalities continue to face budget deficits, and more tobacco tax hike proposals are likely.  Instead, our legislators should focus on ways to get their state budgets and spending under control.

actions

Help Stop Suffolk County from Increasing the Legal Age to 25

The Suffolk County Legislature is considering a Local Law to increase the legal age of purchase for tobacco products from 21 to 25 years old.   

Raising the legal age to 25 years old would create inconsistencies with how the state and federal government define adulthood for most every purpose, such as purchasing alcohol.  

The legal age is already 21 years old and this law would have many unintended consequences. Tell your Legislators you oppose this Local Law and any other attempts to unfairly target adult tobacco consumers.  

Your Voice Can Make a Difference. Contact Your County Legislator Today.  

Feel free to edit the letter on the next page and press “Send” to deliver the message to your Legislator.

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CITY OF PHOENIX: STOP A BAN ON MENTHOL CIGARETTES, FLAVORED DIP, AND FLAVORED CIGARS!

A Phoenix City Councilmember stated he will introduce a TOTAL flavor ban on all tobacco products – including menthol cigarettes, flavored dip, and flavored cigars!

A total flavor ban would threaten many local businesses like yours across the city. This unfair ordinance could be introduced soon. Please speak up and tell the City Council that if adult customers can’t buy their preferred tobacco products in your store, many will go just outside of the city or to tribal reservation stores to get them.

Take action today! With just a few clicks, you can send the City Council a message.  

Feel free to edit the letter on the next page and then press “Send” to deliver the message to City Council.

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