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Old 09-09-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 20,662,999 times
Reputation: 3728

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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
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.
ok, so you save $120 in cigarettes. you drove 30 minutes, each way, so you cost yourself an hour of time. not that big of a deal. but, if you drove about 30 minutes, let's assume it's 20 miles each way. at the federal rate for wear and tear, you cost yourself $20 without paying any tolls. depending on where you cross, i'm not sure what the tolls are. sure, you could buy a laptop and overpay for it, or you can buy it online with a coupon code and free shipping and never leave home. barnes and nobles book prices are almost always 10-20% more than amazon.com. keep driving there to save 7 cents per dollar on sales tax. in the end, you think you're saving all this money, you really aren't.

like i said...if you can combine it into a trip you already need to make, it's probably a clear winner. but if you're making a special trip to buy cigs to avoid the taxes, i'm saying the gain is marginal.

bottom line - look online at all the stats on smoking over the years. declining, declining, declining. the taxes have some part in that.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:04 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 20,662,999 times
Reputation: 3728
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainNJ View Post
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.
Cigarette Tax
Cigarette tax is an excise tax on the sale or possession of cigarettes and little cigars in Pennsylvania. The tax rate is $1.60 per pack of 20 cigarettes ($0.08 per stick), or $16 per carton of 10 packs, and it is imposed on the ultimate consumer.

Cigarette stamping agents are responsible for remitting the tax to the commonwealth and apply tax stamps to cigarette packs and stampable little cigars to indicate payment of tax. All cigarettes and stampable little cigars legally sold in Pennsylvania are marked with a Pennsylvania cigarette tax stamp on the bottom of each pack.


In addition to the cigarette tax, consumers pay a 6 percent sales and use tax on the retail purchase price of cigarettes and little cigars, with an additional 1 percent local sales tax in Allegheny County and 2 percent local sales tax in Philadelphia County.

Cigarette tax revenue is currently dedicated to the following funds and General Fund:


$30.73 million annually to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health insurance to uninsured children and teens; and

$20.49 million annually to the Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Fund, which helps preserve Pennsylvania farmland.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:07 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 20,662,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
I remember reading about the cost a while back. And while it is true that smokers can certainly incur hefty medical bills, most big medical expenses come when you get older. So dying younger means they don't happen. Again, I certainly didn't research this, just read about it.

I don't understand the link you are making between what I said and why a health care provider would ask you if you smoke?
because they charge smokers higher rates. dying of lung cancer after having emphysema and pneumonia for 5-10 years and going through chemo, spending weeks in the hospital, etc, after living a life of getting colds and viruses more often....is going to add up to quite a bill. it's not like smokers die when they are 40. they die in their 60s or 70s, when their life expectancy had them living to maybe 80....
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:10 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 20,662,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
I would also love to see where the tax on smokers actuallys goes. Knowing NJ is there any chance in hell it doesn't go towards something that has nothing to do with smoking?
too bad, i can't find what NJ uses it for using google, like i found for PA. not shocked though. it is NJ after all.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:16 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 20,662,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
NJ's taxes on liquor have always been considerably cheaper than PA's. Pennsylvanians have made runs to NJ for booze as long as I can remember. McGreevey didn't raise the taxes on booze for that reason.

I'm a boomer & when we were kids there were still luxury taxes & sin taxes in effect, left over from WWII. They were across the board, not concentrated on one or two items. An example of the luxury tax was silk stockings. During WWII a luxury tax was levied on silk stockings to discourage their use, as the silk was needed for parachutes. Nylon stockings were invented to circumvent the luxury tax & provide a product that women who were not wealthy could afford.

By raising a sin tax instead of getting Whitman's tax cuts repealed, McGreevey thought that he would look good to people who dislike cigarettes. He never thought about Delaware. Not only did he not take into consideration what the price of cigarettes was in Delaware, he also didn't think about their lack of a sales tax. This is typical. North Jersey polititians have little to no knowledge of South Jersey & have used it as a source of tax money with little to no return to the area. When McGreevey raised the cigarette tax the 2nd time, people who had never gone to Delaware started going & not only bought cigarettes but other items taxable in NJ. He lost cigarette sales & additional sales tax for the state. I already gave an example of how someone could save well over $100. If the purchases are small enough to not raise suspicions (a state trooper is stationed at the bridges) & the purchases are made in cash, there is no proof that you've taken money out of the state & spent it.

This is why I said that the article is probably right about the number of cigarettes brought into the state, but probably wrong about how many are brought in illegally.

It doesn't matter whether you like or dislike cigarettes. Since McGreevy, the state has been attempting to patch a hole in the budget that Christie Whitman created with taxes on one item. Corzine patched the hole with the temporary tax increase on the wealthy, which is who benefitted from Christie Whitman's tax decrease. Christie let it expire saying that it would drive out the wealthy. This is BS. People from all economic levels have been flocking to NC which has a higher income tax.
i buy alcohol when i go to visit PA.

http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/state_rank--jan_2009.pdf
Malt Beverage & Liquor Tax

almost everything is cheaper there. though my friends in the philly area will buy their beer and wine on their trips to deleware.


i like this article on the cigarette topic: NJ cigarette smuggling crackdown? Cell phone use by drivers a better target | NJ.com
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:20 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
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I know alot of people in South Jersey buy cigarettes in Delaware.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:42 AM
 
Location: NJ
31,771 posts, read 38,426,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
Cigarette tax revenue is currently dedicated to the following funds and General Fund:


$30.73 million annually to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health insurance to uninsured children and teens; and

$20.49 million annually to the Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Fund, which helps preserve Pennsylvania farmland.
i see 2 things here.

1. they said "the following funds and General Fund." they didnt say how much goes to each fund.

2. it doesnt go to offsetting the costs of cigarettes to society.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:53 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,578 posts, read 44,558,186 times
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It is pretty obvious why insurance companies ask the question. They want to charge people higher premiums. End of story. Do you think they really care if at the end of the day smokers actually save them money or not? I'm pretty sure they are more than happy to collect higher premiums and save money on the back end.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:03 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,806 posts, read 32,684,282 times
Reputation: 10247
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
ok, so you save $120 in cigarettes. you drove 30 minutes, each way, so you cost yourself an hour of time. not that big of a deal. but, if you drove about 30 minutes, let's assume it's 20 miles each way. at the federal rate for wear and tear, you cost yourself $20 without paying any tolls. depending on where you cross, i'm not sure what the tolls are. sure, you could buy a laptop and overpay for it, or you can buy it online with a coupon code and free shipping and never leave home. barnes and nobles book prices are almost always 10-20% more than amazon.com. keep driving there to save 7 cents per dollar on sales tax. in the end, you think you're saving all this money, you really aren't.

like i said...if you can combine it into a trip you already need to make, it's probably a clear winner. but if you're making a special trip to buy cigs to avoid the taxes, i'm saying the gain is marginal.

bottom line - look online at all the stats on smoking over the years. declining, declining, declining. the taxes have some part in that.
I listed a cross-section of random items that a person would be paying sales tax for in NJ. There are plenty of items that you would not be ordering online. How about having your hair done in a salon, picking up a couple of bags of grass seed, some floor tile, new tires, & an oil & filter change. Those are things that either can not be purchased online, or people are likely to prefer to purchase in person. It doesn't matter. What I'm saying is that people who never went to DE started going & passed the word. It's impossible to know how much taxes have been lost because people started going to Delaware who wouldn't have gone otherwise. There is a shopping area in DE that has the stores laid out in a manner that a 4 hour trip to DE will get you to the same number of stores that it would take 8 or more hours to get to in South Jersey, running all over hell's half acre. Much of South Jersey is still rural. Also remember, I said 30 minutes or less.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:22 AM
 
Location: NJ
12,285 posts, read 34,516,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
I listed a cross-section of random items that a person would be paying sales tax for in NJ. There are plenty of items that you would not be ordering online. How about having your hair done in a salon, picking up a couple of bags of grass seed, some floor tile, new tires, & an oil & filter change. Those are things that either can not be purchased online, or people are likely to prefer to purchase in person. It doesn't matter. What I'm saying is that people who never went to DE started going & passed the word. It's impossible to know how much taxes have been lost because people started going to Delaware who wouldn't have gone otherwise. There is a shopping area in DE that has the stores laid out in a manner that a 4 hour trip to DE will get you to the same number of stores that it would take 8 or more hours to get to in South Jersey, running all over hell's half acre. Much of South Jersey is still rural. Also remember, I said 30 minutes or less.
would this "defection" cease if we lowered the tax on cigs? should we just abolish the sales tax too? i'm not trying to be snarky, i truly don't know what the answer is. higher taxes have accounted for less people smoking, especially teens. i'm ok with that.

delaware makes a fortune on their miniscule stretch of 95 to where they can probably afford no sales tax. would we in NJ be willing to toll the hell out of 295 for instance to accomplish the same thing?
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