Taxing “deadly” products is proving “deadly” for business owners

The recent legislation imposing a hike in taxes on tobacco products is proving deadly for local business owners.  Legislators have effectively instituted measures that are forcing people having to turn to buying their "deadly" products out of state and forcing local businesses to close their doors.   One such business is Utah’s oldest smoke shop, Jeanie’s tobacco.  The business is being forced to close it’s doors as a result of 2010 legislation that imposed a significant tax increase on cigarettes.
 
 

July 1….is the date by which [owner] Klc must come up with $125,000 to cover the higher tax on his existing inventory. Klc says it’s too big an investment for products that will be taxed at some of the highest rates in the nation.

"When I think of my customers and suppliers, I feel like I’m losing my best friends. It’s like I’m going to a funeral.

Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, who fought for years to raise Utah’s tobacco tax, said he understood that distributors would have to pay the bill, not retailers. But Charlie Roberts, Utah Tax Commission spokesman, said retailers indeed must pay the higher tax and yes, it will come due when the law takes effect this summer.

"If that’s the way it is, then so be it," Christensen said. "I’m sorry for some of the businessmen the law will impact, but they’re selling a deadly product."

 
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Well, let’s talk about what is "deadly" that also should be taxed.

Guns:  Utahns are big on guns.  Legilsators need to impose a guns and bullet tax hike:  100% hike on guns and $1.00 per bullet (government exempt)
Pollution:  All companies that contribute to the polluted air in Utah should be taxed even higher such as oil refineries and coal fired power plants (which put mercury into the air).
Alcohol:  Let’s close all liquor stores and have another prohibition!
Products with aspartagme:
Energy drinks
Fast food that is contributing to the ill health of Americans
(Utah should NEVER allow Big Mac’s into the state!)

Running local businesses out of town that have been in existence for a century or more is criminal in itself!  Legislators need to be equitable about which "deadly" products and companies producing "deadly" products are being taxed.
(see my previous post on Vice Taxing)
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