Opinion Pieces, Letter Address Tobacco Tax Measure
Opponents and supporters continue to debate the implications of Proposition 86, a measure on the November statewide ballot that would increase the state tobacco tax to fund health care and other programs. Summaries of recent opinion pieces and a letter to the editor appear below.
- Jon Coupal, Sacramento Bee: "There is a great deal to dislike about" Proposition 86, Coupal, president of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers, writes in a letter to the editor. According to Coupal, one of the measure's effects would be "driving the cigarette market underground," a situation that "has significant law enforcement implications" (Coupal, Sacramento Bee, 9/19).
- Jim Kouri, TheConservativeVoice.com: Some law enforcement groups oppose Proposition 86 in part because of the "negative impacts the proposed 300% tax increase on cigarettes would have on crime and cigarette smuggling," Kouri, fifth vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, writes in an opinion piece on TheConservativeVoice.com. According to Kouri, approving Proposition 86 "would make [cigarette] smuggling even more profitable for criminals" (Kouri, TheConservativeVoice.com, 9/17).
- Charlie Shaeffer, Sacramento Bee: "Proposition 86 is one of the most important health care initiatives to reach the voters in the past decade," Shaeffer, a past president of the American Heart Association of California and a supporter of the measure, writes, adding that "every California family is paying about $700 each year in health care costs related to smoking and [that] we all are suffering the health consequences of secondhand smoke." Shaeffer writes, "We can rest assured that Proposition 86 will reduce smoking, save lives and fund critical health care services, as an added bonus" (Shaeffer, Sacramento Bee, 9/19).