Weather Forecast


One tax hike that looks popular

Multiple reports in recent months have detailed the majority of Minnesotans' happiness with Freedom to Breathe, which became effective nearly two years ago and made smoking in virtually all indoor public places forbidden.

ClearWay Minnesota was instrumental in pushing for support of that legislation, and it is currently busy supporting a new cause: increasing state tobacco taxes. And, if a survey by the polling firm Decisions Resources, Ltd. out of Minneapolis is any indication, a majority of Minnesotans back such an initiative.

Based on phone interviews conducted with 800 randomly selected Minnesotans, 72 percent surveyed favor an increase in the tax on a pack of cigarettes. Furthermore, 35 percent say a tax hike is fair because it assists with covering the health care costs all Minnesotans pay through higher insurance premiums and taxes. And, another 37 percent say the tax increase is just because it encourages smokers to quit, and helps keep kids from becoming smokers in the first place.

With seemingly solid support for a state tobacco tax increase -- not to mention the benefits to non-smokers and non-smokers alike -- we encourage the State Legislature to strongly consider this type of legislation. -- Worthington Daily Globe