Chet Culver signed into law this week Senate File 128, which raised the cigarette tax $1 per pack. This tax will apply to other tobacco products as well. Along with House and and Senate Democrats, Governor Culver has made it apparent to his constituents that the government has a much greater idea of what is good for you than you do. This new tax comes with great promises; Culver has touted that this tax increase will “prevent 37,000 Iowa children from smoking and save nearly 20,000 lives”. My question is, who came up with these arbitrary numbers? Anytime I see “statistics” like these that are completely made up I am very skeptical. I'm sure if one were to present this question to Culver or any other Democrat for that matter, they would respond by saying that those numbers aren't what is important, it is the intentions of this legislation that we should care about.
A major portion of this bill as it was originally presented by the media was altered significantly with very little fanfare. The original House version of this bill would have taken the revenue from this tax increase and placed it into the Healthy Iowa Tobacco Fund. The Senate version of the bill, which is what Culver has signed into law, places this money in the General Fund. By placing this money in the general fund, we must see this for what it truly is – a plain old tax increase, plain and simple.