Poll: Growing majority of NC voters support higher cigarette tax

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.

5 Comments

  1. Jeff S

    February 21, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Sadly, we are always inclined to increase the burden on the other guy.

    I, for one, think that our “sin taxes” are already too high and that they are not the answer to our problems. Placing the burden of the masses on the shoulders of a few is purely selfish.

    Would we be as inclined to support a $.50 tax on donuts? $1.00 per box of Little Debbie’s? And why not?

    And no, I am not a smoker.

  2. MaryP

    February 22, 2011 at 5:20 am

    How high can the taxes go? Being a smoker it is more convenient and affordable for me to purchase cigarettes from overseas (smokin4free.com) than to go to the nearest store. Is this normal? What if tomorrow the government will consider that something you do or consume on a daily basis is so bad for your health that they should increase the tax on it? Would you vote for higher taxes on chocolate? gasoline? fast food? These are killing you just as fast as the cigarettes do…

  3. Alex

    February 22, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Heard an interesting fact yesterday. If we taxed everyone in America at 100% of their income with no exclusions, we still would not have a balanced budget. Scary stuff !

  4. JeffS

    February 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    MaryP, the health issue is just a smokescreen for the majority. None of these people really care about your health. Most of them don’t even care about their own health.

    The idea that they’re protecting you from yourself is a politically convenient excuse to penalize you for behavior they feel is unacceptable.

    Regardless, this was supposed to be a budget discussion anyway, not a health initiative. The only reason this comes up is because it’s money that the majority will support. And if you complain, you’ve identified yourself as one of those “dirty smokers” who have been further marginalized by yet another tax.

    How about we raise fees for license plates to $1000 a piece. A service tax on nail salons to $10 per visit. What about a special assessment on hair restoration surgery of $1500. I mean, as long as we’re just picking random things out of the air…

    ———————

    Stop trying to hide taxes in every little nook and cranny. Bring them out into the open in a very small number of categories so they can be easily examined and understood by all.

  5. keisha

    July 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Jezzz, in my country, in everything that you buy, there’s already a tax. It’s called Vale Added Tax or VAT. So no exemption at all even if you buy 1/4 kg of sugar you’ll be charged.