During a break in today’s legislative session I followed Sen. Eileen Daily, D-Westbrook, a chairman of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee outside of the capitol. She wanted a cigarette and I wanted the latest details on the Democrats’ tax proposals.
Most of our conversation focused on income taxes, but I also asked Daily if leadership is contemplating sales tax hikes.
A bit earlier Sen. President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, had told reporters lawmakers were once again considering upping the cigarette tax, this time by either 50-cents or 75-cents. I figured Daily might at least confirm that and also suggest some other possibilities.
Daily initially said no sales tax increases were planned and I pointed to the smoldering item in her hand.
“Oh, yeah,” Daily said.
And that, in a nutshell, seems to sum up lawmakers’ views of taxing cigarettes. It comes so naturally that it’s an afterthought in a conversation about raising taxes.