400 percent

Created: 9/21/16 (Wed) | Topic: Issues

September 20, 2016: When is increasing any tax by 400 percent a good idea? Voters will have to make a choice in November.

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So how many of you would appreciate a 400 percent increase in your income? Well, that’s not even realistic, is it? How then, is it possible to think that raising a tax by 400 percent on an addiction, would make any sense.

You know that’s something that has to be thought through, folks, this fall, because on the election day, November 8, you’re going to make that decision of whether North Dakota should raise its tobacco tax by 400 percent.

Think about that number for a second. And then think about the folks that they’re taxing. They’re taxing folks that are using a product, that’s legal by the way, but is associated with addictions. How is that helping those with that addiction? Is that placing an extra burden on those families’ finances by increasing this tax on something that they have to deal with personally as a choice.

And, aren’t we going down the road of trying to give someone health security? Let’s call it that. By saying, if we increase this price, we’re going to increase your health security because you’re going to want to quit more, then?

At NDFB, we have a philosophical belief that individual freedom and opportunity must not be sacrificed in a quest for guaranteed security. And there is NO guarantee in this security. There is theory that this will bring security to help those make a choice of not to smoke.

Isn’t it ironic that, on the same ballot that we are considering raising a tax to help people quit smoking, that we are trying to encourage the smoking of another substance? But seriously, take into consideration: Is it right to force a 400 percent tax any time, but in this case, on somebody’s addiction.

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