A new poll released Monday by the North Carolina Alliance for Health finds two-thirds of North Carolina’s voters would support raising the cigarette tax by $1.00 a pack to cut the state’s budget deficit.
According to the survey, raising the tobacco tax is the only option for addressing the budget shortfall favored by a majority of voters. From the media release:
While 62 percent support increasing the tobacco tax as a budget balancing measure, support jumps to 66 percent when some of the revenue is used to fund public health measures. Strong majorities opposed other options such as reducing funding for education, Medicaid health services, closing state prisons or increasing other taxes.
“At a time when North Carolina is dealing with a huge budget deficit, voters across North Carolina understand raising the tobacco tax is a smart way to tackle this problem and, more importantly, protect our kids from smoking,” said Pam Seamans, Executive Director of the North Carolina Alliance for Health.
Seamans notes Governor Perdue missed a tremendous opportunity in her budget proposal to raise the issue. The Alliance is now calling on legislative leaders to improve the state’s financial situation by raising the tax on cigarettes.