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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Kansans support increased tobacco, alcohol taxes, according to new poll

A proposal to raise taxes on cigarettes in Kansas met with approval in poll results released Tuesday. The tax hike would help the budget and keep Kansans healthier.

March 23, 2010, 11:53 a.m. Updated March 23, 2010, 11:53 a.m.

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— By wide margins, Kansans support increases in tobacco and alcohol taxes and oppose cuts in education, social services and highways, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The survey should help legislators in supporting tax increases to fill a nearly $500 million budget hole, said representatives of anti-smoking and health groups that commissioned the poll.

An increase of $1 per pack in the cigarette tax would generate $74.7 million and reduce the number of young people smoking, said Mary Jayne Hellebust, of the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition.

“It’s a win-win,” she said.

The statewide survey of 500 likely Kansas voters found that 71 percent supported an increase in the state tobacco tax and 70 percent supported an increase in the state alcohol tax. Republican and Democratic support was nearly identical.

Support for a $1-per-pack increase was 69 percent overall, according to the poll. The current state tax on cigarettes is 79 cents per pack. Gov. Mark Parkinson has proposed an increase of 55 cents per pack.

No other proposed tax increase or proposed cuts gained the support of a majority of Kansans, according to the poll. The survey was taken last week and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38 percentage points.

The poll found 87 percent opposed cuts to public schools, 85 percent opposed cuts to social services, 81 percent opposed cuts to Medicaid, 76 percent opposed cuts to higher education, and 72 percent opposed cuts to highways.

The poll also showed that an increase in the state sales tax was supported by 43 percent and opposed by 56 percent.

The poll was conducted by the national polling firm Public Opinion Strategies.

Glen Bolger, partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, said raising taxes on cigarettes “is far more attractive” than other tax proposals or proposed budget cuts.

Comments

chzypoof1 4 years, 9 months ago

Where was this poll done? Western Kansas? Sin taxes do NOT fix anything. You are taxing something that is "socially unacceptable" to pay for something else...what a joke!

How about our state/federal govt figures out how to spend the money in their current budget better, BEFORE they tax us more?

poof

KSManimal 4 years, 9 months ago

chzypoof1 (anonymous) says… "Where was this poll done? Western Kansas? Sin taxes do NOT fix anything. You are taxing something that is "socially unacceptable" to pay for something else...what a joke!"

You're also taxing something that causes those who use it to disproportionally burden government services (police, fire, medical); not to mention lost productivity (smoke breaks, illness) inflicted on the business sector.

Randall Barnes 4 years, 9 months ago

ksmanimal not to mention lost productivity (smoke breaks, illness) inflicted on the business sector. smoke breaks ? lost productivity ? do you take a break while at work ? well is that not the same, shouldn't you be at work ? illness well if someone calls in sick just think of the money the business owner is saving by not having to pay a days wage. yes i'm a non smoker. sin tax ? drinking cola is a sin. what about chocolate that alone is a sin. so get real.

Randall Barnes 4 years, 9 months ago

ksmanimal not to mention lost productivity (smoke breaks, illness) inflicted on the business sector. smoke breaks ? lost productivity ? do you take a break while at work ? well is that not the same, shouldn't you be at work ? illness well if someone calls in sick just think of the money the business owner is saving by not having to pay a days wage. yes i'm a non smoker. sin tax ? drinking cola is a sin. what about chocolate that alone is a sin. so get real.

Randall Barnes 4 years, 9 months ago

ksmanimal not to mention lost productivity (smoke breaks, illness) inflicted on the business sector. smoke breaks ? lost productivity ? do you take a break while at work ? well is that not the same, shouldn't you be at work ? illness well if someone calls in sick just think of the money the business owner is saving by not having to pay a days wage. yes i'm a non smoker. sin tax ? drinking cola is a sin. what about chocolate that alone is a sin. so get real.

d_prowess 4 years, 9 months ago

So we shouldn't pass taxes when the vast majority of residents approve of them? If 70% of the population are willing to support a tax increase on something, shouldn't it be done? I have heard a lot of people say that government shouldn't pass health care since the majority did not support it, so what do those same people say about this?

d_prowess 4 years, 9 months ago

So we shouldn't pass taxes when the vast majority of residents approve of them? If 70% of the population are willing to support a tax increase on something, shouldn't it be done? I have heard a lot of people say that government shouldn't pass health care since the majority did not support it, so what do those same people say about this?

oz1954 4 years, 9 months ago

I don't know where they polled these people,but not in my neck of the woods. Our " OUT OF CONTROL GOVERNMENT" has only one thing in mind for us - more taxes. They need to curb their spending and quit wasting our tax dollars,period. There is waste everywhere!

DillonBarnes 4 years, 9 months ago

I wonder how these people feel about soda taxes and tanning taxes? It's easier to support these taxes when they don't touch you. Soda will soon become 'evil' like alcohol and nicotine and the blame for obesity will fall on soda rather than the individual and parents.

avoice 4 years, 9 months ago

vanguard3 is right. And the result of this poll is not surprising, no matter what part of the state population participated. The majority of people don't smoke and a lot of people consume alcohol only occasionally or never. So, of course they are in favor of these taxes. It doesn't affect them.

cowboy 4 years, 9 months ago

Bought and paid for by anti smoking group and performed by poll group with documented history of push polling. They got the poll they paid for.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 9 months ago

cowboy (anonymous) says…

Bought and paid for by anti smoking group and performed by poll group with documented history of push polling. They got the poll they paid for.

Public Opinion Strategies is a bedrock Republican polling firm.

You can bet they were upset with the results of their poll. It is telling the anti-smoking group chose a well known Republican firm to do its polling. If anything, it doesn't detract from the credibility but rather adds to the credibility.

kansasmom 4 years, 9 months ago

Just curious...how many of you participated in this poll? I don't think 500 people is enough people to get a census on Kansas. That's too small a number in my opinion.

WilburM 4 years, 9 months ago

Re polling -- BobKeeshan is right -- Public Opinion Strategies, headed by former Kansan Neil Newhouse, is a Republican-oriented firm but it's also a very good one. And a well-drawn sample of 500 Kansans is enough to produce a reliable result.

The question then is -- what does the Legislature do with these data, if anything? Certainly looks like widespread support for a tobacco tax, much as there was simlar support for a smoking ban in public places.

geekyhost 4 years, 9 months ago

I'd support a soda tax, too. I'd really love to see an upper bracket income tax increase. Because I like public libraries, public education, public police departments, public roads, and other aspects of the socialist agenda. If I didn't like them, I'd move to Somalia. I hear it's a Libertarian paradise.

SouthWestKs 4 years, 9 months ago

Guys,

Check the records & look @ how the revenue goes down after a blip when the tax is increased.. People will find ways to get around this.. They will buy smokes in other states or on the Indian grounds.. Same thing will happen with booze.. Missouri will love these laws.. With 1/3 of the Kansas people living on the Missouri border it will be a big boost for there state revenue..

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 9 months ago

SouthWestKs (anonymous) says…

Guys,

Check the records & look @ how the revenue goes down after a blip when the tax is increased

This is a false statement. While there is some evidence that the projected revenues come up short, it is false to claim that revenues from tobacco taxes go down when the tax is increased. There is no "blip;" the tax was last increased in 2002 and revenues in 2010 are significantly higher than they were in 2001.

I don't understand why people use this as an argument against raising tobacco taxes. Isn't part of the goal to decrease smoking?

Also, there is no statistical evidence that since the last tobacco tax increase in 2002 sales in MO, CO, NE, or OK have been influenced by an influx of KS customers. It is anecdotal, but there is no data to back up the claim.

kansasmutt 4 years, 9 months ago

Ask any Jewish person if this new Kansas State leadership is a good form of government ? This tax wont hurt 90% of the smokers in Kansas, because they already go to MO - OK and Indian reservations to buy cigs. The ones that will suffer are the small to medium bars and restaurants, they will suffer big time. Drink prices will jump up and more people will stay home. ((( Bob-Keeshan If you look back to the data taken ( by KDR) last tobacco tax increase 4000 smokers quit. That is a tax revenue drop of $80.00 to $100.00 a month per quitter. That my friend is a HUGE drop in revenue. If you give a rats @s% about your lifestyle in Kansas, you best get on a phone and tell your state rep to SAY NO to this sin tax BS. Ask them to raise state income tax on anyone earning more than $100.000.00 a year by 3%. This alone would fund schools and fix our roads and not hurt anyone. All i can say about our Kansas leaders is this ,,, Welcome to the new Soviet Union. Kansas has become its own socialist state.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 9 months ago

In a sane world, we'd have a single-payer healthcare system, and any sales taxes on tobacco and alcohol above what's charged on other items would go directly into funding the healthcare system to mitigate the higher medical costs that use of these substances can cost.

"Sin" taxes are fine as long as they are spent on the damage these "sins" cause, but not if they are levied merely to punish the users and pay for things that everybody uses.

The best and fairest way to increase tax collections is to increase the state income taxes on the top brackets, which should include adding a new bracket for earners making more than $150,000.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 9 months ago

I support taxing the safer alternative marijuana. I'd much rather pay a tax on a reliable quality product, in lieu of dealing with an unreliable source or being arrested. I'd definitely rather be certain my money is staying in the state or country as opposed to possibly increasing the pocket size of some cartel thug in Mexico or beyond.

CreatureComforts 4 years, 9 months ago

I'd really love to see an upper bracket income tax increase.


Not this junk again. This article has NOTHING to do with this topic, but since you started it, I'll argue back. Why is it that those people who have found success in their life must be punished? You're telling me someone who has reached a high level of success through hard work and has earned the money to go along with it should give up more to help some people who are too lazy to do jack?

Why do so many people want success punished in America?

headdoctor 4 years, 9 months ago

Silly people that are for the additional sin tax think this might make it possible for the schools to get some of it and avoid a sales tax increase. The Kansas Legislature has made it quite clear that public education is not part of their plan. They want to push as much of the school expense off on the locals that they can get away with. The extra revenue will go every place else but the schools.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 9 months ago

kansasmutt, you are wrong. Your post does not even correlate to a drop in projected revenues, as declining sales are factored into projections when the tax is raised.

in 2002, tobacco tax collections were $48 million.

In 2011, the projected revenue is $100 million.

What kind of fool would suggest revenues in 2002 were higher than in 2011?

kansasmutt 4 years, 9 months ago

Bob ) If you go back and read my post again you will see that I said revenue from cig sales will drop, not sales tax in general. Sorry if I didn’t make it clear, my fault. 4000 people quitting is a huge amount of revenue to drop off. With this economic downturn we are in now, to raise a sin tax would be catastrophic to the states revenue. A higher tax bracket small increase would fit this time best and not punish people already being hit hard with unemployment and wage cuts. Nobody will like an increase, but the more well to do might be able to absorb it better than people who earn less than $50,000.00 a year right now. The only other fix is to cut Kansas government, and go to a 4 day state worker week. Just a quick correction in your numbers, Tabasco tax revenue in 2001 was $63,5 million and dropped off to $47,6 million in 02 and to $42.8 million in 03 and has held fairly steady. Some or most of the drop is people going to Indian stores and to other states to buy smokes. The guesswork number for 2011 of $100. million is as far off as it can be. I have to laugh at that number.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 9 months ago

The very suggestion that revenues from cigarette taxes have been bringing in $43 million per year since 2003 is ludicrous.

I spent some time searching on the internet and found this data from the Department of Revenue. Again, these are revenues from cigarette taxes only for the State of Kansas, listed in millions of dollars and by fiscal year:

1999- $51 2000 - 49 2001 - 48.7 2002 - 48 2003 - $117 2004 - 119 2005 - 118 2006 - 117 2007 - 115 2008 - 112 2009 - 107

See that drop in 2009? That's because the feds raised the cigarette tax. Tell us some more stories about how increasing the cigarette tax brings in LESS revenues...

oz1954 4 years, 9 months ago

Amen! Let's get some people into government who" really" want to fix our problems.

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