Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Author: David Strom
September 27, 2005

PLYMOUTH—There’s nothing like a dose of reality to wake people up.

At least that’s what David Strom, President of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota hopes will happen once people see what has actually happened to charitable gambling receipts following the imposition of smoking bans in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties.

At a hearing held in St Paul today by the House State Government Finance Committee, legislators heard from the Gambling Control Board and others that Charitable Gambling receipts have fallen drastically in Hennepin and Ramsey County since the imposition of strict smoking bans.

In Hennepin County, which has a very strict smoking ban that covers bars and restaurants, there has been a 22% loss in gross receipts; in Ramsey County, where the ban is less strict, sales are down 10%. Overall, charitable gambling receipts are down only 2-3%, indicating that the problem is localized to the regions where smoking bans are driving customers away.

“These smoking bans are killing businesses,” said David Strom. “The loss of charitable gambling receipts is simply a symptom of the larger loss of customers that businesses are experiencing. Either customers are staying away or taking their business to a more friendly environment.”

“The anti-smoking activists swore up and down that business would be as good or better once the smoking bans were in place. Will they now admit that they were wrong?

“More likely, they will see this as an argument for expanding smoking bans everywhere—make everyone suffer the same fate, instead of just a few. Instead, let’s make the smoking ban activists accountable for their false predictions and at least repeal these onerous regulations,” Strom concluded.

The Taxpayers League is Minnesota’s largest taxpayers advocacy organization. It lobbies for lower taxes, more responsive government, and the freedoms dear to all Americans.

Some of you may know I have started to work with (I didn't say paid) the Taxpayers League of MN. For years the league has relied on private donations to help them continue their work, I am helping them put together a small business group of contributors. If you realize the benefits that this organization conducts on behalf of small businesses across Minnesota, and would like to help the Taxpayers League continue their mission of fighting for lower taxes, more responsive, less intrusive government, please consider a tax deductible donation. Visit their website at http://www.taxpayersleague.org where you can make a donation online or contact me for more information.

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