New York City has now imposed such staggering tax hikes on tobacco that it actually costs $15 for a single pack. That’s almost a dollar per cigarette.
Smokers are used to coughing up a lot — but this is getting ridiculous.
The price on a pack of cigarettes has skyrocketed to $14.50 at some New York City stores thanks to a hefty new tax — leaving even the most nicotine-addicted buttheads considering nixing their fix.
“This is my last cigarette ever!” fumed William MacLeod, 45, of Brooklyn. “At $15 a pack, this is ridiculous. It’s a good excuse for me to quit.”
Ella Maxine, a small-business owner from Park Slope, Brooklyn, almost choked on her smokes when she had to plunk down $15 for a pack of American Spirits cigarettes at Smiler’s Deli on Fifth Avenue near 46th Street.
TOUGH SELL: Mina Yassa peddles a pricey pack of Parliaments at his newsstand on Seventh Avenue outside Penn Station yesterday.
“They were $13 on Wednesday, and they’re $15 today,” she said.
And while she’s angry that she has to pay more for her habit, she also admits she should ditch the dependency.
“I feel like I deserve to pay the idiot tax for smoking in the first place,” she confessed.
New York earned the distinction of being the highest taxed state in the country on Thursday, when a new sales tax on butts kicked in, slapping an extra $1.60 on every pack.
The latest levy raised the total state taxes on a single pack of butts to $4.35.
The statewide tax — aimed at generating $440 million for Albany’s drained coffers — hit the Big Apple extra hard, since it is already straddled with a municipal tax of $1.50 a pack.
Compare that with tobacco-friendly states like Missouri, where smokers can light up in style and fork over only a puny 17 cents a pack in taxes. Other cigarette havens include Virginia, which taxes packs 30 cents, Louisiana, which has a bargain tax of 36 cents, and Georgia, which slaps a 37 cent tax on every 20 ciggies.
“I remember when they were $2 a pack,” moaned smoker Cate Evans, 29, of the Upper East Side.
In a city where rent-controlled tenants are paying a third of what their newly arrived neighbors shill out for rent, it’s no surprise that the price of butts varied dramatically from store to store.
At a kiosk near Penn Station, Marlboros were going for $14.50 a pack. A few blocks away on Broadway and 34th Street, a pack was going for $12.25.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Altria, the parent company for tobacco giant Philip Morris, said raising cigarette taxes will only hurt New York.
“It will provide even greater incentives for consumers to purchase contraband cigarettes to avoid paying these extremely high taxes and will cause further loss of business to New York retailers selling state-taxed cigarettes,” David Sutton told CNNMoney.com. (Source: NY Post)
Today it is cigarettes, but what will it be tomorrow? Soda? Red meat? Gasoline? Anything can be deemed unhealthy. That’s the problem with ObamaCare (well, one of the many)–it makes everything the government’s business.
Is it the role of government to pick and choose our lifestyles for us? Should no one be allowed to fail or face the consequences of bad decision-making?
Apparently liberals just want us to accept that obliterating personal responsibility and self-reliance (not to mention, liberty) in exchange for total dependence on nanny state programs and central planning is “the change we need.”