Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Urgent Action Needed on Senate Tobacco Vote

By Diane Canova,
Managing Senior Fellow for Tobacco
Partnership for Prevention

We have just learned that the Senate is expected to vote today on an amendment by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) bill that would only increase the federal tobacco tax by 37 cents, instead of the proposed 61 cents. This amendment would dramatically reduce the new federal tobacco product tax rates to fund expansion of the SCHIP legislation, substituting a new system of taxing the income of partners in investment management services firms (e.g., hedge funds) as ordinary income.

Tobacco taxes are not only a good way to raise revenue, but they are a proven deterrent to tobacco use. This increase combines good fiscal policy with good public health policy.

Please call your senators' offices today expressing your support of the full 61 cent cigarette tax and opposing the Webb amendment to lower the tax. Let us know if you have any questions or need more info.


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