Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Utah: Raising tax on food, lowering tax on tobacco

One guess as to what group is pushing a tax cut on smokeless tobacco products.

You guessed it: The Benedict Arnold Koch brothers-funded American Legislative Exchange Council. Known as ALEC, it's a corporate dating service that matches state lawmakers and rich  political donors. Its corporate members include Philip Morris (now Altria), United States Smokeless Tobacco Company (also now Altria) and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (now part of Reynolds American).

One Utah pediatrician is pretty ticked off at ALEC for promoting nicotine addiction among children while Utah lawmakers try to raise the tax on food.

He wrote to the Deseret News saying Utah's children are not for sale:
Championing tobacco over food is unexpected in Utah, especially at the expense of children. This might happen in our state if the American Legislative Exchange Council and proponents of a food sales tax increase both get their way during this legislative session. 
During their annual national convention in Salt Lake City, ALEC shopped a resolution encouraging state legislators to decrease taxes on smokeless tobacco products — chew, snuff, Snus, etc. — potentially to 5 percent of the current tax rates. Coincidentally, at almost the same time, Utah legislators proposed increasing the food sales tax from 1.75 percent to 4.70 percent. Decreasing the tax on tobacco products will lead to more of Utah's children beginning to use tobacco. Increasing the tax on food will affect the one-in-seven Utah children who go hungry. Utah's children appear to be up for sale by proponents of the food tax increase, ALEC and tobacco companies.
ALEC. Destroying one American state at a time.