- Cigarette companies are
not being financially punished by the MSA (What is the MSA?); they simply pass the cost on to American smokers.
States increase tobacco excise taxes while spending millions of dollars in attempts to catch cigarette
smugglers – a problem they created by raising taxes. Alcohol use did not go away with Prohibition. Tobacco use will not go away with excessive and punitive
taxation. Smuggling will continue to go further underground.
- Why do we need to act
now? Each state’s yearly MSA payment is dependant on cigarette sales from
the previous year. We have the ability to affect every states' MSA payments
for 2006 (money from 2005 sales) How? Don’t buy or support brands
that participate in the MSA. For one year, smoke another a non-MSA brand or roll your own cigarettes and encourage others to do the same. You have the
power to make the government pay attention to smokers and change the next 20 years of tobacco taxation.
- Over-taxing cigarettes and other tobacco products
has created a booming black market that has caused revenue shortfalls in every state. When tobacco taxes are
reasonable consumers will pay them, however raise taxes beyond what the consumer is willing to pay and otherwise
law-abiding citizens will turn to tobacco smuggling. It is a no win situation
- Small, independent shops are feeling the effects of the states poor
planning. The stores sell a legal product, but are losing their livelihood to the black market. States
gain more excise tax revenue and income/sales taxes when people buy in state from their very own small businesses.
- Why should non-smokers support the Tax Revolt? The costs of tobacco smuggling flow over into non-smokers’ lives. Tobacco taxes fund many services that non-smokers also use. If
tobacco revenue is lower than expected, we will see an increase in other taxes to make up for the shortfall in revenue. Smokers’ won’t pay an unreasonable tobacco tax and government can’t
stop smuggling. Money is wasted on both ends.
- Billions of dollars are given to non-profit organizations
each year to nag people to stop smoking. This government funded attack on a legal
product is costing states revenue better spent caring for their citizens. Instead,
anti-smoking nannies, promising some far off future health savings, demand (and get) increased funding. Anti-smoking groups are very well funded – why do they need government money too?
- State governments have
gone too far. It is time to take a stand. Please join in this tax protest
by submitting an I Quit declaration to your governor as soon as possible. Every
governor of every state needs to realize that a sane tobacco taxation policy is the only way to go.