DURBIN’S PROPOSED TOBACCO TAX WOULD HAVE HARMFUL CONSEQUENCES

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Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), a hard-leftist senator representing the corrupt Illinois Democrat political machine for more years than people can remember, has proposed increasing rates on cigarettes by 100 percent and increasing the rates on all other tobacco and nicotine products to achieve parity with the rate on cigarettes, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Washington-based Tax Foundation.

“The Tobacco Tax Equity Act would double taxes on cigarettes and equalize rates on all other tobacco and nicotine products to match the new higher cigarette rate,” writes the foundation’s Ulrik Boesen.

The increase would result in substantial increases on chewing tobacco (2,034 percent), pipe tobacco (1,651 percent), and snuff (over 1,677 percent). Vapor products, which are not currently taxed at the federal level, would also be taxed at the level of cigarettes.

The report points out that a large portion of the new tax burden would fall on low-income Americans, as consumption of tobacco is more common in this group. Furthermore, the fatal flaw in this potential source of tax revenue is that “States stand to lose around $689 million in revenue from excise taxes on tobacco products due to the tax increase’s impact on consumption.”

The proposed tax also would possibly result in serious health issues, as “Tax parity between the most harmful tobacco products and least harmful nicotine products would hurt smokers’ ability to switch from cigarettes, which is a problem for public health.”

When purchasing a pack of cigarettes, the average cigarette smoker currently pays:

    $1.01 in federal excise tax,

    $1.91 in state excise tax,

    $0.66 in master settlement cost, and

    $0.36 in average state sales tax

“For a pack-a-day smoker that translates to roughly $1,435 per year in taxes on cigarettes, but the proposal would increase that total to $1,823 per year. For low-income Americans, these figures represent a significant portion of their income, and the majority of smokers have lower incomes.”

Another warning sign of negative consequences is that 32,400 smokers in Minnesota were deterred from quitting cigarettes after the state implemented a 95 percent excise tax on vapor products. While vaping has been growing in many states, the decline in smoking has accelerated—especially among teens and young adults.

The report concludes: Excise taxes are legitimate when certain negative externalities associated with a type of transaction or type of consumption can be identified, and they can work well to establish user-fee systems. Lawmakers looking to generate stable revenue for general recurring spending priorities, however, should raise that through broad-based taxes at low rates instead.

“Dick Durbin has been causing Illinois taxpayers pain and anguish since he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1997,” said Jim Tobin, economist and president of Taxpayers United of Illinois (TUA). “Many Illinois residents hadn’t even been born when he was elected to the senate. This ultra-leftist has been in office much too long. It’s time he retired and allowed a more moderate elected official to represent Illinois taxpayers.” Source: https://taxfoundation.org/federal-tobacco-tax-proposal/

ILLINOIS SURROUNDED BY STATES WITH LOWER TAXES

Illinois is surrounded by states with lower combined state and average local sales tax rates, according to a report issued by the nonpartisan Washington-based Tax Foundation.

The five states with the highest average combined state and local sales tax rates are Louisiana (9.55 percent), Tennessee (9.547 percent), Arkansas (9.48 percent), Washington (9.29 percent), and Alabama (9.22 percent). The five states with the lowest average combined rates are Alaska (1.76 percent), Hawaii (4.44 percent), Wyoming (5.39 percent), Wisconsin (5.43 percent), and Maine (5.50 percent).

Illinois, however, is not much better. Its combined tax rate is 8.83%, the seventh highest in the country. What’s worse, Illinois is surrounded by states with significantly lower tax rates.

Wisconsin is #43, at 5.43%. Iowa is #28, at 6.94%. Missouri is #12, at 8.25%. Kentucky is #38, at 6.00%. Indiana is #24, at 7.00%.

“Illinois’ high taxes make it uncompetitive with respect to other states in the same area,” said Jim Tobin, economist and president of Taxpayers United of Illinois (TUA). “As a result, Illinois is losing population and large and small businesses—its tax base. The financial outlook is grim, with the state in an economic death spiral due to its out-of-control pension plans for retired government employees. The only way to attract people and businesses back to the state and save it from going under is to lower taxes, making the state more attractive for investors.”

Source: https://taxfoundation.org/2021-sales-taxes-midyear/

WARREN TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL DIST. 121 WILL TRY AGAIN FOR A MONEY GRAB IN 2022!

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Taxpayers United of America (TUA) worked with taxpayers in Warren Township Dist. 121 to help them defeat a property tax increase referendum on April 6, 2021. However, the greedy bureaucrats on the school board have not given up. They decided to place another property tax increase referendum on the June 28, 2022 ballot.

On August 27, 2021, the Board of Education approved placing a 60-cent operating rate increase question on the 2022 ballot.

In opposing the April 6, 2021 referendum, TUA president Jim Tobin stated that “Warren TWP HSD 121 (WTHS) wants to raises taxes during a pandemic! The school district has placed on the April 6th ballot a referendum to increase the limiting rate on property taxes, effectively raising property taxes by $7.6 million!”

“Illinois is still locked down, schools aren’t even fully open, yet the career tax-raisers at WTHS want taxpayers to fork over another $7.6 million. This is really hitting the taxpayers when they’re down.”

Tobin pointed out to taxpayers that it’s really the bureaucrats and teachers who profit from these property tax hikes, not the students. “All of the top 15 annual salaries in WTHS are greater than $136,000, and, when they retire, each of these teachers will collect millions from the Teachers Retirement System (TRS). It’s unconscionable that government school administrators would expect taxpayers to subsidize these overpaid teachers with more of their hard-earned money.”

Lake County’s average annual property tax of $6,285 is the highest of all Illinois counties. It ranks 18th out of 3,143 counties for property taxes as a percentage of annual income: 6.76%.

Tobin had a suggestion for the school board: “WTHS needs to sell the 100-acre parcel that they purchased in 2008 for $8 million. Proceeds from the sale would go a long way to protect the programs that the government school bureaucrats are threatening to drop if the referendum fails. They have threatened to risk students’ ability to qualify for colleges, scholarships, and just to succeed in life.”

“They also threaten to go to a seven-period day, but I’m sure teachers and staff would not consent to a 12.5% pay-cut,” said Tobin. “It’s time to freeze teachers’ salaries.”