Welcome to Missouri, Illinois Smokers!
According to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Illinois may be looking to increase its cigarette tax to pay for health care:
State leaders are quietly exploring the possibility of doubling
Illinois’ cigarette tax to almost $2 a pack in an effort to fund Gov.
Rod Blagojevich’s universal health care plan.
Missouri’s cigarette tax would remain at 17 cents, the lowest in the nation. There is really a two-fold lesson here. One, instead of trying to tax an decreasingly popular lifestyle to provide health care for everyone, open health care to the free market. Two, this will lead many Illinois residents to border states like Missouri in the search for cheaper cigarettes. In my view, let them come. The welcome mat is out for Illinois.