Governor, Democrats Still Can't Agree On Budget

Smokers in Kentucky could be bracing for a much more expensive trip to the tobacco store.

Part of the plan of a higher tobacco tax is that fewer smokers mean healthier people. But the Governor and his fellow Democrats in the Capital believe taxing cigarettes could pump millions into Kentucky's coffers. The governor says 70 cents is the only way to go.

“If we're going to raise the cigarette tax, then let's do it in a significant enough way that number one, we raise enough revenue, number two, we really affect smoking in teenagers,” says Gov. Beshear, D-Kentucky.

But House Democrats do not appear to be budging on their stance. The House majority floor leader says there are not enough votes in the House to pass a cigarrette tax of 70 cents.

Instead, some lawmakers believe a 25 cent hike along with taxes on certain services along with refinancing the states' debt is the better plan.

“If the votes are not there today for the 70 cent increase, it's because they haven't joined with me to work on it, said Governor Beshear on Monday.

Both sides agree on one thing. That more taxes are needed to fund higher education, teacher salaries, health care and social programs.


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  • by Steven Location: Lexington on Mar 11, 2008 at 12:52 PM
    Fact. Beshear is misleading Kentuckians and hiding his real agenda. He is coming up with every possible way to scare us into beleiving we are in a budget shortfall. Even if we do, is there a need to scare KY into his underlying casino plans? Even more reason to count the days of his administration and vote MCCAIN in November. I too agree, why not tax alcohol as well.
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Mar 11, 2008 at 10:29 AM
    VIRGIL HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD! ATTABOY!
  • by Evelyn Location: Morehead on Mar 11, 2008 at 09:14 AM
    Governor is right. Taxes on this deadly addicition should have been raised before now. Think of our young people and raise tax to at least $1.00. Elected officials against this need to wake up now!
  • by Whatswrong on Mar 11, 2008 at 06:55 AM
    Ok, House, he is finally trying something that might work, let's get together on this....education may depend on this......
  • by c Location: fkt on Mar 11, 2008 at 05:50 AM
    Perhaps, the lawmakers have more common sense than our governor. If you raise the cigerette tax to 70 cents, then teenagers MIGHT quit, but so will alot of the rest of us, then where is the revenue going to come from? If everyone stops buying cigerettes, then where is all this money you think you will get? There won't be any! Then what are you going to do? If you people would QUIT making such a BIG DEAL over smoking, then the teenagers wouldn't think it was so cool! The bigger deal you make over it, just makes it all the more appealing to them! Besides, if smoking is all the teenagers do, then we can be thankful because there's alot worst things they could do! Smoking is not good, but it's not the end of the world either! I think lawmakers should look elsewhere for revenue. How about taxing alcohol? It kills too & probably more than cigerettes! Yet there is no tax on it. Why? because most of the lawmakers drink! So there's more places to raise revenue! Stop picking on smokers!
  • by Joey Location: Lex on Mar 11, 2008 at 05:34 AM
    Quite a few people say that increasing the cigarette tax by 70 cents per pack will hurt the lower income because they make up the largest percent of smokers. The easy solution is for them to quit smoking and quit complaining about it. If there is something that I like but I can't afford, I don't buy it. If they are lower income, why are they wasting their money on cigarettes? So are we saying lower income means uneducated? It doesn't take a P.H.D. to figure out that if you can't afford something, you don't buy it. Quit coddling these people who can't afford cigarettes. By not raising the tax, you are just enabling them by keeping the price so low, they buy cigarettes versus other things that could make their life better. If you do the math on what most smokers pay per year for cigarettes, you can put that money into a Roth IRA and they'd have a retirment accouint; if they don't die first from lung cancer or some other smoking related disease.
  • by Joey Location: Lex on Mar 11, 2008 at 04:56 AM
    This guy is a joke! Even his own party can't agree with him on ANYTHING! I hope those of you that voted for him are happy with your increase in taxes. By the way, if you don't know what that means, it means you will have less take home pay. And another thing; your tax dollars will be going for social programs to help those who don't want to work but are fully capable of holding a job. It's called cyclical welfare. Grandma did it, Mommy did it, and now Little Sissie will do it because they know they can.
  • by Clara Location: KY on Mar 11, 2008 at 04:47 AM
    Why can't we tax tobacco and LIQUOR! Liquor kills as many as tobacco.
  • by Virgil Location: Richmond/Irvine on Mar 11, 2008 at 01:09 AM
    When the Governor says "“If the votes are not there today for the 70 cent increase, it's because they haven't joined with me to work on it" He means they haven't had the meeting saying that he will threaten their position or threaten to not allow funding for their pork barrel spending projects if they don't come on board with his wants and well wants cause we all know he doesn't need anything. Like others have mentioned in other stories if the officials would take a pay cut they could easily fund projects and teacher salaries. And third they should never EVER be allowed to vote on their own raises. It should be voted on by the people they are supposed to be serving.
  • by Brad Location: Frankfort on Mar 11, 2008 at 12:23 AM
    Tax, Tax, Tax!!! You Frankfort boys take about $20,000 less a year in pay then? Hmmmm?
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