Lower the cigarette tax to keep more money in state
  1. United States
  2. Wash.
  3. Letter

Lower the cigarette tax to keep more money in state

To: Rep. McEntire, Rep. Walsh, Sen. Wilson, Gov. Inslee

From: A constituent in Longview, WA

May 31

Subject: Lowering Cigarette Tax to Curb Cross-Border Purchases Dear Lawmakers To start with I’m not a smoker and I really really hate cigarettes because they killed my grandpa. But I have noticed though when I have traveled out of state is the amount of Washington license plates buying cigarettes in Oregon at a tax rate of 3.3% lower then our state. We should match Oregon and Idaho and keep more money in our own state. We can still discourage smoking and prevention methods as well. I am writing to urge your consideration for a crucial adjustment in our state's policy regarding cigarette taxes. As it stands, the current tax rate on cigarettes in Washington State has inadvertently led to a significant portion of our residents seeking tobacco products across state borders, particularly in Oregon and Idaho. The escalating number of individuals opting to purchase cigarettes in neighboring states is not only indicative of a failure to capture revenue within our own economy but also poses multifaceted challenges. Firstly, it compromises public health initiatives that rely on cigarette taxes to deter smoking, fund cessation programs, and alleviate the burden of tobacco-related healthcare costs. Secondly, it undermines local businesses, especially small retailers, who suffer from declining sales as consumers seek cheaper alternatives elsewhere. Lowering the cigarette tax in Washington is not merely a matter of fiscal policy; it is a strategic measure to safeguard public health, promote economic vitality, and foster equitable access to essential services. By aligning our tax rates more closely with those of neighboring states, we can dissuade cross-border purchases, encourage compliance with local regulations, and mitigate the adverse effects of smoking on both individuals and communities. Moreover, this adjustment presents an opportunity to reevaluate our approach to tobacco control comprehensively. We must consider implementing complementary measures such as investing in smoking cessation programs, enforcing age restrictions, and intensifying public awareness campaigns to address the root causes of tobacco consumption. In conclusion, I implore you to prioritize the well-being of our citizens and the prosperity of our state by revisiting the cigarette tax policy. Lowering the tax rate will not only deter cross-border purchases but also reaffirm our commitment to public health and economic resilience. Thank you for your attention to this critical issue. I remain hopeful that together, we can enact meaningful change for the benefit of all Washingtonians. Sincerely Garrett Beauregard

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