Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Non-Smokers Paradise: Huntsman proposes huge cigarette tax; no sales tax on food

If Utah Governor Jon Huntsman gets his way, you'll get a lot of bang for your buck when you buy food in Utah, while suffering under the nation's highest tax on cigarettes when you want to ape Humphrey Bogart.

Today, Huntsman proposed a $2.30 tax increase on cigarettes, with the intention of cutting the state's sales tax on food to ZERO %.

How it would work/what it would do:

Huntsman said that the $3 per pack tax would bring in $120 million to $150 million in revenue, beyond the $60 million the current tax generates. Huntsman said that would be "more than enough" to eliminate the sales tax on food. That would cost about $75 million.

"It would more than cover that remaining portion of the sales tax on food and I think it would show a great commitment to the people of the state if we would think creatively about how to get something like that done," Huntsman said.

And yes, Utah would have the highest tax on cigarettes in the nation. I didn't know anyone there smoked, anyway? Oh yeah -- those blond Mormon women are so hot they're on fire. But besides that.