SABETHA (KSNT) – State lawmakers are preparing for two days of deliberations on Governor Sam Brownback’s proposal to boost state taxes on beer and cigarettes.
One thing State lawmakers will be asked to consider is how the increases could benefit the states around us.
“I’ll drive to Nebraska, it’s well worth a little few extra miles.” Scott Delome, smoker aid.
That’s probably not what Governor Brownback wants to hear after proposing an increased excise taxes known as sin taxes. Brownback’s hope is that increasing taxes on tobacco and liquor will help plug $648 million budget deficit. But it’s one attempt Delome doesn’t see as fair, “If people have bad habits that their business let them to their own business.”
Currently the sales tax in Kansas on tobacco products is 79 cents, under Brownback’s proposals that number will nearly triple to $2.29. Which means a pack of cigarettes will end up costing and additional $1.50 per pack.
“And it’s not going to make anybody quit, it’s just going to make it harder on us that has those bad habits,” Delome said.
But not everyone feels the same as Delome, in fact General Manager Courtney Weis at All Stare Stores gas station in Sabetha, a community just a few miles from the Nebraska border doesn’t think it will affect her business at all.
“Some people will drive over to the line just like they do in Missouri already because they’re a lot cheaper than us, but in a general sense I think that we will still sell the same amount of cigarettes as we always have,” Weis said.
Even if the tax hikes are passed and Kansan’s are tempted to shop near bordering states, who’s going to stop them?
“Nebraska from my house is about half mile away, so I’ll just drive to Nebraska and buy them,” Delome said.