There’s an interesting story that just came out noting a USD Economic professor discovered errors in the fiscal note for the tobacco measure, as well as in the explanation itself, as he explains how its not going to bring in the kind of revenue that the promoters of the measure promise.
After attempting to solve the problem himself for three hours, Letellier and Mike Allgrunn, the dean of the economics department, determined the numbers were inaccurate.
The ballot measure will increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes from a $1.53 to $2.53. Taxes would also be increased on wholesale products, such as chewing tobacco and cigars, with an increase from a 35 percent rate to a 55 percent tax. With this increase in taxes, the state is hoping to bring in 25 million dollars in tax revenue.
“Their assumptions will probably not bring in anywhere near $20 million because they are assuming people will not change their behavior by raising taxes,” Letellier said. “They are assuming they will still be getting all this revenue, the same amount of revenue that they got the last time they raised the taxes on cigarettes.”
“It becomes really challenging when (voters) can’t be confident in the system if the person who is administrating can’t give the right numbers,” Hellwege said. “And what’s worse is that they may carry this negative attitude with them for the rest of their life. We know voting is a habit, and if you don’t develop that habit early on you may never become a regular voter.”
And that’s not good. So… how exactly does one fix that kind of thing?