Vote No On Prop. 303

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Editor:

If Proposition 303 passes, more unjust taxation will be paid by just a few for proposed various public health and healthcare programs which this proposition wants.

How can one vote on a proposition as this and put all the tax burden on tobacco users? (60 percent of this group being in the low-income tax bracket.) Do you think this is fair taxation, when all taxpayers benefit from what Prop 303 wants to do?

I urge voters to vote no on Prop. 303. I would like to share why I do not like Prop. 303.

1) Have proponents told you that currently state and federal excise taxes on cigarettes already generate far more money than smoking-related costs paid out by public purses? Have you ever wondered why?

2) In 1995 surveys, Arizona spent 1.12 cents per pack on tobacco-related medical care and Arizona lost 1.55 cents per pack in payroll taxes due to smokers' early mortality rate. This time period the excise tax on a pack of cigarettes was 58 cents. The 58-cent tax was more than 20 times the combined tobacco-related cost to the state of 2.67 cents. Smokers and tobacco users have more than paid their own way.

3) Since 1996, several excise state and federal taxes have been placed on tobacco and related products. Where did that money go? Was it also spent on the totally unrelated tobacco issues? Why do we need Prop. 303 now? I believe this proposition is only a cash-cow and smoke screen to add funding for projects or programs that are not tobacco-related. Proposals like this will continue to come up because the majority of voters think this doesn't cost me, so I'll vote yes. Non-tobacco users are the majority; smokers are the lesser in numbers. Bottom line: Proponents have little opposition on proposals such as these. The result is a continued cash flow with little or no accounting as to how and where money will be spent.

We need to stop this type of underhanded way of taxation put upon just a few.

I hope this information will open the eyes of voters and help them make the correct and moral choices.

Please get out and vote Nov. 5.

Rick Andrews, Payson

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