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NTU Urges NH Legislators to Reject Cigarette Tax Hike

by John Stephenson / /

Today the National Taxpayers Union joined with the Granite State Taxpayers and the Coalition of NH Taxpayers to send a letter to New Hampshire's legislators urging them to reject any cigarette tax hike as a solution to the state's budget shortfall.
     The letter goes on to explain, "While some see cigarettes as easy targets for taxation, the reality is that such tax hikes are very burdensome to small businesses and the poor, and they rarely, if ever, produce the promised revenue.
      A tax increase on cigarettes is not what New Hampshirites need in the midst of a painful recession. Raising the tax 20 cents now would only further hammer the state's economy. The National Association of Convenience Stores reports that cigarettes account for about 33 percent of total sales nationwide at their establishments. If cigarette taxes rise, the retail price will increase and convenience stores in New Hampshire will lose business as residents and visitors from border states will buy less.
     This recessionary tax increase will impact more than just the small business community. Since the poor are more likely to smoke, New Hampshire's low-income families, especially those who live in the depressed North Country, will disproportionately feel the pinch of this tax. With a federal cigarette tax increase already having taken effect, the 20-cent tax hike would amount to a one-two punch on New Hampshire's worst-off citizens. ..."

To view this letter in its entirety, please click here.