California’s Proposition 29 is Flawed, and Set to Repeat Mistakes

In California, a pending ballot measure to raise tobacco taxes is being scrutinized by citizens. The initiative, Proposition 29, proposes a $1 tax increase for cigarettes as well as tax increases for premium cigars and pipe tobaccos.

The initiative proposes to create a committee of bureaucrats who will manage the supposed $735 million dollars a year that Prop. 29 will raise. Of that $735 million, hundreds of millions every year could go to out-of-state and for-profit corporations, while up to $125 million is earmarked to pay for salaries, buildings/real estate, and other administrative costs.

However, there is a surprising amount of discretion left to these bureaucrats and how they will spend the money. For one, none of this money will go to public schools, even though in California there is a voter-approved constitutional amendment that requires new taxes to help fund education. None of the money will go towards alleviating the state’s $16 billion budget deficit, either. The research money may not even stay in California, as there is nothing that requires it to be spent in the state or even in the country.

Also, the proposition cannot be touched for 15 years. The governor and legislators are prohibited from making changes to it, even in the case of waste or mismanagement.

This proposition will potentially create a $735 million vacuum that takes money away from California citizens and redirects it at the committee’s discretion. This smash-and-grab approach to taxation simply cannot be tolerated. At the end of the day it is taking money from California citizens without the requirement that it be spent in California.

If the money is coming from the pockets of California citizens, it should stay in California. If this were a universal tax, it would never be allowed to be spent outside of the state.

Proposition 29 boils down to a poorly thought-out initiative that, at its core, is a fundraising project with no accountability. It will raise tobacco prices across the board and give the money to a bureaucratic council with no obligations to the state or the taxpayers. Rather, their obligations will be to their affiliated universities and for-profit partners, all lining up to get their check.

The proposition will be up for vote on June 5th.

This article was written by Kyle Whalen. Kyle is the Public Relations Manager for the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association and can be reached at kyle@ipcpr.org <mailto:kyle@ipcpr.org> . More information can be found online at www.ipcpr.org <http://www.ipcpr.org> .

5 comments ↓

#1 Miami Heat on 05.25.12 at 1:03 PM

This stuff really irks the hell out of me. Government needs to back off. Too much taxation is just foolish. Damnest thing that CA is such a mess and they would be better off lowering their taxes and stop giving all their handouts.

#2 Anonymous on 06.04.12 at 12:18 AM

VOTE AGAINST THIS EVIL PROPOSITION!!!!!

#3 Lou on 06.06.12 at 11:57 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Proposition 29, California’s referendum to
raise the tax on cigarettes by five cents per cigarette ($1 per
by pack) and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco
products to fund cancer research, has been defeated.

According to Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s California
Presidential Primary Election website, with 100% of precincts
reporting, 50.8% of voters voted against the ballot measure,
while 49.2% voted in favor of the ballot measure.

#4 Oseng on 12.02.15 at 4:45 PM

Interesting thing is that article is from 2004 after the Supreme Court threw out Prop 22. I tried lkoniog for something recent from Rantel, but couldn’t find anything. Haven’t heard him talk about Prop 8 so not sure if he still feels the same way.

#5 http://www./ on 11.03.16 at 2:23 PM

Ely coco15 agosto, 2012En mi opinión, ud. debería escribir constructivamente por Canarias.El periodismo es un arma útil para el pueblo, si se usa bien y no está “comprometida”Me interesan los problemas de otras tierras, pero hemos de solucionar los de la nuestra primero.

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