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Old 09-08-2011, 01:08 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 20,644,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainNJ View Post
while i am very much against smoking, the idea of taxing to discourage people from buying a legal product seems wrong to me. but at least if you do it, the revenue should go directly into healthcare programs (not smoking cessation programs).

how many government employees do we have? id like to think we can deal with internet taxes and cigarette taxes (along with many other things) simultaneously. i dont understand this notion of prioritizing certain things as if we cant do more than one thing at a time.
it's not about doing more than 1 thing at once. cigarettes that are brought into a state from another state are going to be difficult to track. how would you find it if someone bought at an indian reservation in NY and drove them into NJ?

amazon.com sales are low hanging fruit. it just requires amazon collecting the tax and remitting it to NJ, like every website that has b&m presense has to. it's only because of old laws from pre-ecommerce times that we don't collect it already.

sure...you can search every NJ plate that enters the state to make sure they are paying taxes on the products they bring in...but is that cost effective?
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:10 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 20,644,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
McGreevey's tax hikes registered a drop in sales which was touted as smokers quitting, while Delaware registered a rise in cigarette sales. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. People were not quitting, just changing where the purchases were made. Plus people going to Delaware for cigarettes were surely taking advantage of no sales tax in DE. McGreevy probably lost as much income as he made.

Seeing through smokescreens High cigarette taxes raise problems, not revenue. - Philly.com
maybe the drop in smokers wasn't as large as they like to claim, but pretty much nationwide, smoking has dropped substantially because of increased taxes and increased awareness. the increased awareness was largely funded by the taxes. we've probably reached the tipping point on how far you can go and keep getting a good return on it...but i say keep going. i don't care. i have no personal problems with using taxes to discourage activity though.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:12 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 20,644,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
It made the news (in Philly) about people in North Jersey getting cigarettes from the Indian reservations in NY state. Cigarette sales dropped, drastically, in South Jersey after McGreevey's 2nd tax hike. People were POed that the taxation was not being split between cigarettes & booze & voted with their feet. The Philly stations announced that Trenton had decided that massive numbers of smokers in South Jersey had quit. Just look at the sales figures in that article. Did some people quit? Sure. Did more people get creative about their cigarette purchases? You bet!
the only way it makes sense to drive to deleware to save a buck or two a pack is if you were going to deleware for something already. the gas and tolls would largely negate your savings.

it's like people driving out of their way to save 2 cents on a gallon of gas. sure, they do it...doesn't mean it makes financial sense.

if anyone quit cause mcgreevy raised the tax...i'm for it. i don't see it as a revenue raiser anyways, so i don't care.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:36 PM
 
Location: NJ
31,771 posts, read 38,362,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
issues that affect public health, such as smoking, will always be a cost to society. whether it be in services being used up by someone who is sick, but could be avoided. productivity. research. etc. it's not costing you because of a bad healthcare system. it's costing you because you don't live in a vacuum where you're the only person in the country.
and im sure the government is using that sales tax revenue to directly offset the costs of smoking to society.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:39 PM
 
Location: NJ
31,771 posts, read 38,362,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
it's not about doing more than 1 thing at once. cigarettes that are brought into a state from another state are going to be difficult to track. how would you find it if someone bought at an indian reservation in NY and drove them into NJ?

amazon.com sales are low hanging fruit. it just requires amazon collecting the tax and remitting it to NJ, like every website that has b&m presense has to. it's only because of old laws from pre-ecommerce times that we don't collect it already.

sure...you can search every NJ plate that enters the state to make sure they are paying taxes on the products they bring in...but is that cost effective?
i dont think anyone discussed finding ways to catch people who are smuggling cigarettes from other states. i believe the idea is to reduce the tax rate so that there is no incentive to buy from out of state. but even if you wanted to reduce smuggling, even though its more of a challenge than capturing internet sales tax, we should still be able to do both at the same time. im not sure why an internet sales tax is relevant in this discussion other than if you believe that by try to capture cigarette sales taxes you are preventing the capturing of internet sales taxes. the two arent linked in any way as far as i know.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:42 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,578 posts, read 44,517,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
seems to me more people would want sky high taxes on cigarettes, after all it you the taxpayer who ends up paying for these smoking related illnesses through higher health care costs. i didn't realize we had so many willing to part with their hard earned dollars so easily to help those who make bad choices.
Doesn't health care end up actually being cheaper for smokers since they die younger?
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:54 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,806 posts, read 32,623,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
the only way it makes sense to drive to deleware to save a buck or two a pack is if you were going to deleware for something already. the gas and tolls would largely negate your savings.

it's like people driving out of their way to save 2 cents on a gallon of gas. sure, they do it...doesn't mean it makes financial sense.

if anyone quit cause mcgreevy raised the tax...i'm for it. i don't see it as a revenue raiser anyways, so i don't care.
A good portion of South Jersey is 30 minutes or less from DE. Don't forget that the tax is levied per pack. A carton is 10 packs. Add in the ability to buy taxable items in DE without paying sales tax. That 30 minute or less run can mean a hundred or more dollars in savings, depending on what is purchased. Say you pay $40 a carton in DE vs $70 in NJ & you bring in your allowable 4 cartons. That is legal & you just saved $120, plus sales tax on whatever else you pick up. . .let's say you buy a laptop, a couple of books at Barnes & Noble, & some soda, some Halloween candy & costumes for the kids. Does that sound like you're costing yourself money to make that trip?

If a credit card is used, it can be traced, like people who charged vast quantities of cigarettes at the reservations. If you drive into the state with a pickup loaded with appliances in boxes, you're going to be picked up.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:00 PM
 
Location: NJ
12,285 posts, read 34,492,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainNJ View Post
thats what happens when you put "sky high" taxes on a product.
people have choices. get a second job, move, drive to delaware, quit smoking. i'm not wasting any tears over people having a more difficult time harming themselves.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:03 PM
 
Location: NJ
12,285 posts, read 34,492,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
Doesn't health care end up actually being cheaper for smokers since they die younger?
people can struggle for 10-20 years with smoking related illnesses and only may die a few years earlier (there's no way to validate this however), but you rack up some pretty hefty bills during your illness.

if what you say is true, why do health care providers ask if you smoke?
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:21 PM
 
Location: NJ
31,771 posts, read 38,362,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
people have choices. get a second job, move, drive to delaware, quit smoking. i'm not wasting any tears over people having a more difficult time harming themselves.
this doesnt change the fact that having a sky high sales tax is an attempt to take away peoples rights to buy a legal product. if there was some product you purchased lately and the government slapped a 50% sales tax on it because they deemed it "unhealthy" should anyone waste a tear for you? id be less offended by this if the tax would go directly to the cost, but really nobody can accurately quantify the costs and thats not really what the government is looking to do even though its used by people to justify the tax.

does the government use this revenue to reimburse private health insurance providers for the expense of smokers? this is one reason i believe health insurance should be the responsibility of the consumer to purchase not the employer. they can adjust the rate based on the persons health and their lifestyle choices, much like life insurance providers do.
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