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Posts tagged: sin tax

Carlson: More Otter Smoke & Mirrors

There they stand in a photo sent to the state media – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and members of The Idaho State Lottery Commission proudly holding a large mock check for $41.5 million made out to the state. Governor Otter is clearly pleased with the yield from a regressive tax policy that relies substantially on the hopes of participants to hit the big one. It is, however, another iteration of a myth that Idaho Republicans are the anti-tax increase, fiscally responsible party. In reality, the Governor peddles a bill of goods that relies on shell games and fiscal chicanery. He is betting most voters most of the time won’t see through the gimmicks which underfund education and keep kicking the day of reckoning down the road. He is probably correct, unfortunately. All these anti-tax Republicans, who have taken the Grover Norquist pledge, for some reason exempt gaming from their list of taxes because an individual willingly pays this “tax,” which happens also to be a “sin tax”/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicle. More here. (2011 SR file photo: Jeff Anderson, director of the Idaho Lottery, announces the Idaho winner of the Mega Millions jackpot, Holly Lahti of Rathdrum)

Question: Do you consider the Idaho Lottery to be a “sin tax”?

Pauler Loves Sinner, Not Sin Tax

Think you're paying too much for a pack of Marlboros? Don't like the cost of a six-pack of Budweiser? That fifth of Jack Daniels priced just too high? Then Lewiston has a candidate just for you. Daniel Santiago (pictured) is his name. Reports the Idaho Statesman's Dan Popkey: Santiago is the first Republican to challenge state Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, in eight years. He's a self-described under-funded longshot and acolyte of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. He'd also repeal Idaho's “sin taxes” - those taxes states impose against vices such as tobacco and alcohol. “Taxes were created for everybody or no one,” Santiago said. “Taxes shouldn't be created to punish a certain group, religion or ethnic base. And that's what sin taxes do, they punish a certain group”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Photo from Daniel Santiago for Idaho House Web site)

Question: Is it fair to charge sin taxes?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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