Lawmaker learns there are consequences to legislative actionsThis article is from 2007 but can help explain alot about our states' budget shortfalls.
Ohio’s budget is dependent to the tune of $1 billion a year on smokers lighting up at a time when voters have just dramatically reduced the number of places where they can light up. (smoking ban)
“We’re of two minds when it comes to cigarettes, aren’t we?” said Gov. Ted Strickland. “We don’t want people to smoke, yet we need the revenue coming from the tax. That’s just one of the multiple contradictions that we find in our society and probably within our budget.”
For the first time, revenue from the tax surpassed the $1 billion mark in the fiscal year that ended June 30 (2006) thanks to a 70-cents per-pack hike that took effect in July, 2005 — the biggest increase in the tax’s 76-year history.
As of Dec. 31, the halfway point of the current fiscal year, taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products were 8.8 percent below last year’s collections.This is clear cut proof that smoking bans and higher tobacco taxes reduce government tax revenue......even a legislative assistant should be able to figure that one out.