Taxing Smokers Could Benefit All

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Rather than taxing restaurants at 2 percent, let's tax smoking so we can clean up indoor air. Here's a three-part approach that benefits everyone:

Part 1: Add a 5 percent tax onto food and beverage bills at tables in restaurant smoking sections.

Part 2. Add a 5 percent tax onto products and services bought from businesses that allow smoking indoors.

Part 3: Increase this tax 2.5 percent each year.

The result? Every year, more smokers will refrain from smoking in restaurants so they can sit in nonsmoking sections and avoid the tax. Every year, more restaurants will abolish smoking sections because fewer and fewer smokers sit there. And every year, more businesses will ban indoor smoking so they don't lose customers to the increasing number of smoke-free businesses.

Bottom line: The Town of Payson benefits from the tax revenues. In a few years, every business in Payson will be smoke free. And when this tax resource runs out, then the town can look for a new source of revenue.

Let's tax smokers so everybody can breathe more healthy air.

Trey Ryder, Payson

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