In order to offset higher car tag prices several years ago, the Legislature raised the tax on new car purchases.
Legislators, in effect, taxed the rich – or those able to afford new cars – in order to lower car tags prices for all.
With new car sales in the tank because of the economic slump, the state is in a pinch and owes Mississippi counties $7.2 million so far this fiscal year, and that figure is expected to rise substantially.
Legislators are rumbling about a cigarette tax hike to fill the gap, but that may end up doing more harm – to state finances, that is – than good.
When legislators consider a tax increase on cigarettes, they are advocating a regressive tax, one targeting low-income Mississippians, especially.
We should not redistribute the wealth of the smoking poor to subsidize the driving – and maybe even the smoking – rich.
Rather than talking about raising anybody’s taxes, the Legislature ought to seriously cut expenses like almost every, single household and business in America.
Cigarette tax revenue will go down eventually and government will merely find another way to tax the people.
Neshoba County Democrat