Reactions to Proposed 'Sin Tax' Hike - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/15/04

Reactions to Proposed 'Sin Tax' Hike

"I think it's ridiculous," said Jennifer Wilkerson, a smoker and purveyor of tobacco at Nothin' Butt Smokes. One of a few select businesses targeted for a proposed "sin tax" by Governor Perry.

"What's this on the counter top?," asked NewsChannel 11, pointing to a flyer. "They are gonna charge $1.00 more tax per pack and $10 more per carton," said Wilkerson.

Governor Rick Perry Talks Taxes with NewsChannel 11
Watch the entire interview with Texas Governor Rick Perry as he discusses the Proposed School Property Tax Plan and the special session with the Texas Legislature.

"I'm against it, the sales tax, they shouldn't increase it," said Greg Whitfield. He was buying a pack of Newports, which, if the tax passes, would cost over $4.00. "I think they're expensive enough. I think they should leave them where they are," he said.

Also in the governor's sights, adult entertainment. Patrons would face a $5 charge just for walking through the door of strip clubs. Locally, owners were either unreachable or camera shy, but one commented that the tax punishes the general public and not the clubs.

At the other extreme of the tax debate is David Delamar. "Get rid of the income tax," he said. Dressed up as Thomas Jefferson, the Libertarian was protesting taxes outside the post office. "We don't need an income tax. The government can collect its money some other way - some simple tax like a flat tax or sales tax where people don't have to spend hours and thousands of dollars filling out forms," he said.

As for Jennifer, if the "sin tax" passes, she'll turn from her wicked ways. "I'll be quitting really soon," she said. "Would it make you quit?," asked NewsChannel 11. "Oh yeah, if it goes up I'll quit. I ain't paying it," she said.

Meanwhile, Thomas Jefferson is keeping his bases covered. "Did you do your taxes?," asked NewsChannel 11. "I have a CPA do mine," he laughed.

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