Revenue Committee to consider raising taxes on tobacco

The Joint Revenue Committee of the Wyoming Legislature meets on Thursday, Sept. 22 to consider raising Wyoming’s taxes on tobacco.  Every taxpayer in Wyoming should watch this issue closely.

“While tobacco taxes have classically been considered a sin tax, I prefer to look at them as a user fee,” said Deb Simpson, Grassroots Manager for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “Tobacco-related illnesses cost Wyoming taxpayers millions - $44.8 million each year in Medicaid alone.”

Simpson supports tobacco tax increases because folks who smoke are going to need medical care to address their smoking-related illnesses.  “Collecting taxes when tobacco is purchased makes sense,” Simpson added. “The state then has the money to pay for these tobacco-related illnesses later, when tobacco users get sick.”

According to ACS CAN, significantly increasing the price of tobacco products is proven to keep kids from purchasing their first pack of cigarettes and motivates current adult and youth smokers to quit.  Tobacco taxes also bring in increased revenue.  

“Increasing our tobacco taxes is especially appealing right now,” said ACS CAN Government Relations Director Jason Mincer. “With our current budget shortfall, this would be a great way to provide some additional funding for needed programs, while also reducing long-term costs to the state budget.”

Let the Revenue Committee know that you support increasing tobacco taxes by clicking here.