What a surprise! Cigarette Tax revenues down!

“Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon said Wednesday that revenues are $4 million below estimates. She said the biggest disappointment was the tobacco tax, which was $2.6 million behind projections for the month and now is $3.5 million behind for the year. The Legislature cut the tax 10 cents hoping to spur sales, but Hodgdon said sales are behind last year’s numbers.”
(From WMUR story below.)

Read more: http://www.wmur.com/news/29663…

14 Responses to What a surprise! Cigarette Tax revenues down!

  1. Lucy Weber November 3, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    Repeat after me: “The Democrats left the state with relatively low unemployment and a $26 million dollar SURPLUS.”

    Look what the Republicans are leaving us with.

    The June 2011 unemployment rate was 4.9%.  The September rate, after only three months of Republican budget control, was 5.4%.

    Please repeat to everyone you see from now til November 2012.

    • DianeR November 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

      Where can I find these facts? As we know, our own mutated form of the GOP has been saying the opposite…that Democrats devastated the state budget and “rainy day” fund, that we left the state in debt. PEOPLE BELIEVE THIS. If I mention that this is inaccurate, they don’t believe me.

      And, further, if I mention there are bigger problems to worry about in the short term, I get the blank stare of the brainwashed tea party voter. Not a single one of them can tell you why they think solving a long-term problem in the short term is a good idea. I learned it at Koch Kamp, it must be true…..

      I need a primer on countering this crap.

      • Lucy Weber November 4, 2011 at 12:29 am #

        then choose State and Local Unemployment Rates, or follow this link.  If you rummage around on the Bureau of Labor Statistics site, you can pull up the historical rates–state unemployment rates in previous months as well.

      • cblodg November 4, 2011 at 6:14 am #

        It doesn’t matter what you show those people, they will not believe it.

        • Lucy Weber November 4, 2011 at 6:41 am #

          who need to hear it.  It’s all the Undeclared voters–the biggest voting block in the state–especially the ones who do not follow the news regularly.  The ones who, when you tell you what is going on, are horrified.

  2. political chowder November 3, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    From Seacoastonline July 24,2011:

    “We strongly believe that reducing this tax will result in more revenue, more economic growth and more tax cuts
    ,” said House Speaker William O’Brien in a June statement about the tax cap.

    The recent passing of the state budget brought the tobacco tax down from $1.78 per pack to $1.68 per pack, lowering the price of cigarettes by 10 cents a pack and $1 a carton. But that didn’t last long.

    Soon after the tax cut went into effect July 1, tobacco companies raised wholesale cigarette prices, essentially leaving prices as they were before….

    Mike Rollo, director of government relations for the American Cancer Society, said things are exactly the same as they were before and there is no additional money in the pockets of consumers.

    Rollo, a former state legislator, warned tobacco prices would increase by about 10 cents per pack when he spoke against the tax cut earlier this year. “If you’re a tobacco company, why would you leave a 10-cent profit on the table?” Rollo asked.

    “They basically gave a bailout to the tobacco companies,
    ” he said. “They certainly didn’t help the consumer or the small-business owner.”


    • Dave O'Brien November 4, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

      Who owns stock in tobacco companies? Political contributions can be tough to trace but if you own stock not so easy to dance away.  

      • TimothyHorrigan November 5, 2011 at 9:30 am #

        Unless O’Bill owns a huge amount of stock in the tobacco companies, I don’t think the stock holdings are much of an issue.  NH is such a small market, it can’t materially effect tobacco companies’ overall sales.  I would be more worried about his legal or consulting fees and/or who has been contributing to his campaign organizations.  If he owns a tobacco retailer near the border, that’s something to worry about as well.

        There is an O’Briens, by the way, in RJ Reynolds’ family tree— Marianne O’Brien married RJ Reynolds, Jr., son of the original RJ Reynolds after whom the tobacco company was named.  She took up smoking to please RJ Jr. and died (but not till age 70 or so) from the habit.  As far as I know, however, she is not closely related to the Framingham O’Briens.

        • Dave O'Brien November 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

          The appearance of vs. an actuol of conflict of interest is a really a matter for review and interpretation.

          How much is a “hugh” amount? 1000 shares? 2000 shares? 10,000 shares? 100,000 shares?

          It seems to me that a NH citizen with voter standing ought to ask this question – not only of the Speaker but every Rep that voted for the bill.

          Remember Bettencourt speculating how lucrative this would be for retailers – it would draw out-of-states to cross state lines to purchase smokes.

  3. cmnh November 3, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    don’t even have enough smoke.

  4. Legal Beagle November 3, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    When you factor in lost revenue to both the general and education trust the state is behind 6.7 million compared to last year in lost tobacco at revenue.


    I seem to recall a press release from DJ Bettencourt saying the nay sayers had egg on our faces for telling them this was a bad idea. Just because they hit their low balled revenue estimates for one month. Great work Deejay, maybe we can cut some more services at DHHS to give the tobacco companies more revenue! I’m sure the boys in Winston Salem appreciate it.  

  5. tchair November 3, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    The loons pushing a national sales tax of 34% claim the reducing business’s taxes will result in lower prices for the consumer.
    This fiction is clearly shown to be a lie here in New Hampshire with this Sig tax scam!


    • cblodg November 4, 2011 at 6:16 am #

      Never.  St. Reagan can not be wrong… even when he clearly was and is.

  6. nhveedub November 3, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    You mean lowering taxes doesn’t increase revenue?!?!?!! My 30+ years of Republican ‘Laffer Curve’ math lessons are all for naught!

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