To the editor:
Do you feel undertaxed? You can remedy that situation by voting yes on Proposition A next Tuesday.
As a non-smoker, it is tempting to vote an additional tax on a product I do not use and dislike. But before you vote yes, consider the additional bureaucracy that would inevitably be created. We would have an emergency preparedness resource account, a health-care treatment and access account, a life-services research account, and early-care and education account and a tobacco and addition-prevention program account. Each would require a director, assistant director, secretaries and support staff.
This tax is predicted to bring in $343 million a year. If, as expected, the increased cost of smoking became prohibitive for our youths and if other smokers quit smoking, revenue would drop. The bureaucracy would already be in place, however, and the legislature would be pressured to fund these additional levels of service.
You will remember the lawsuit against the tobacco companies. The money was supposed to treat smoking-related illnesses. In most cases, that has not happened.
Is there anyone in this country over the age of 6 who does not know tobacco is harmful to your health?