NATO Launches Campaign Against Federal Tax Increases

Published in Tobacco E-News

By  Thomas A. Briant, Executive Director

NATO is launching a national petition drive among the association’s tobacco store members to oppose President Obama’s proposal to increase the federal cigarette tax by 94 cents per pack increase and raise all other tobacco tax rates by a similar proportion to fund an expansion of preschool for four year olds. NATO member stores will be urging adult customers to sign the petitions which are addressed to the two U.S. senators and the U.S. representative that represent the Congressional legislative district where the store is located. After a petition page is filled with signatures by adults, the page will be faxed to the two U.S. senators and U.S. representatives.  The petition drive will continue for the next six weeks.

NATO is launching a national petition drive among the association’s tobacco store members to oppose President Obama’s proposal to increase the federal cigarette tax by 94 cents per pack increase and raise all other tobacco tax rates by a similar proportion to fund an expansion of preschool for four year olds. NATO member stores will be urging adult customers to sign the petitions which are addressed to the two U.S. senators and the U.S. representative that represent the Congressional legislative district where the store is located. After a petition page is filled with signatures by adults, the page will be faxed to the two U.S. senators and U.S. representatives.  The petition drive will continue for the next six weeks.

At the NATO Show to be held at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas next week on April 22-24, NATO will conduct an e-mail letter writing campaign to members of Congress to fight the proposed cigarette and tobacco tax increases. NATO legislative staff will have laptop computers in the association’s booth and assist trade show attendees send an e-mail message to each of their two U.S. senators and their U.S. representative about the negative impact of these proposed tax hikes. If you are planning to attend the NATO Show next week, please stop by the NATO Booth No. 739 on the trade show floor and send your elected officials an e-mail message about President Obama’s cigarette and tobacco tax increase plan.

As reported in the NATO News bulletin last week, President Obama wants to expand preschool education to all four year olds from low to moderate income families and pay for the expansion of this prekindergarten program with an increase in the federal cigarette and tobacco tax rates. The President’s 2014 budget proposal for the “Support Preschool for All” program is projected to cost $66 billion over the 10-year period from 2014 through 2023. 

While the increase in the cigarette and tobacco tax rates is estimated to raise $78 billion over this same 10-year, the additional revenue expected to be collected peaks in 2015 with $9.8 billion projected and then declines each year after that until 2023 when $6 billion is estimated to be collected. However, the costs associated with the preschool program keep increasing virtually every year so that by 2019, the costs of the program exceed the tax revenue generated to pay for the program.

Below is an excerpt from President Obama’s budget document submitted to Congress which shows in billions of dollars the funding required for the “Support Preschool for All” program on the first line and the projected cigarette and tobacco tax revenue from the higher proposed tax rates on the fourth line.