Governor Doyle wants to hike the tax on a pack of cigarettes by $.75 to squeeze smoker's wallets and make them rethink the habit. Maureen Busalacchi, Executive Director of Smoke Free Wisconsin , says the tax increase will prevent another 33,000 kids from no becoming addicted smokers and will make 17,000 adults kick the habit.
The proposed state tax will total $2.52 a pack, the third highest in the nation. The Governor says the money generated will also help plug the upcoming massive budget hole. Doyle claims the end goal is that eventually no one will smoke.
Despite the appearance of relying on a revenue source that will supposedly dwindle, Bussalacchi says fewer smokers in the long term will save taxpayer money. This savings will come from fewer medical costs in programs like Medicaid, to treat smoking related diseases.
Busalacchi also supports the Governor's call for a statewide smoking ban.