Cigarette Tax “soars” to 42nd in nation

I guess there goes my Friend of the Taxpayer Award for 6 years running. This week I voted to override the Governor’s veto on the cigarette tax. The House and Senate agreed and, starting in July, the tax that has stayed at 7 cents since 1977 (when a pack of cigarettes cost 40 cents) will increase to 57 cents.

While many have spoken over the past few years during this debate, Rep. Joey Millwood gave some of the more compelling arguments against the tax increase this week from the House floor: “big government”.

“When did it become government’s role to tax you so you don’t do something? That’s the most ludicrous, insane thing I’ve heard in my life,” asked Millwood, R-Landrum. “That’s called big government. We’re hurting businesses. This is crazy.”

In the end, I listened to my voters over my colleagues though.

Instead of being 51st in the country , we now “soar” to tied for 42nd. US Median is $1.18. The following states are lower than us starting this summer: WVirginia, North Dakota, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia and Missouri.

House Vote to override (2/3 required override veto) Yeas 90; Nays 29

Those who voted in the affirmative are:
Agnew Alexander Allen Anderson Anthony Bales Ballentine Bannister Bingham Bowers Brady Branham
Brantley G. A. Brown H. B. Brown R. L. Brown Chalk Clemmons Clyburn Cobb-Hunter Cole Crawford Daning Delleney Dillard Erickson Forrester Frye Funderburk Gilliard Govan Gunn Harrell Harrison Hart Harvin Hayes Hearn Herbkersman Hiott Hodges Horne Hosey Howard Huggins Hutto Jefferson Jennings
Kelly King Knight Limehouse Littlejohn Long Lucas Mack McEachern McLeod Merrill Miller Mitchell
V. S. Moss J. H. Neal J. M. Neal Neilson Ott Owens Parks Pinson Rice Rutherford Sellers
Skelton D. C. Smith G. M. Smith J. E. Smith J. R. Smith Sottile Spires Stavrinakis Umphlett Vick Weeks Whipper Whitmire Williams Willis Wylie A. D. Young T. R. Young
Total–90

Those who voted in the negative are:
Allison Barfield Battle Bedingfield Cato Cooper Edge Gambrell Haley Hamilton Hardwick Kennedy
Loftis Lowe Millwood D. C. Moss Nanney Norman Parker M. A. Pitts Sandifer Scott Simrill G. R. Smith
Stewart Stringer Thompson Viers White
Total–29

So, the Veto of the Governor was overridden and a message was ordered sent to the Senate accordingly.

Senate vote to override (2/3 required to override veto)

YEAS
Alexander Anderson Campbell Campsen Cleary Coleman Cromer Elliott Fair Ford Hayes Hutto
Jackson Land Leatherman Leventis Lourie Malloy Martin, Larry Massey Matthews
McConnell McGill Nicholson O’Dell Pinckney Rankin Reese Rose Scott Setzler Sheheen Williams
Total–33

NAYS
Bright Bryant Courson Davis Grooms Knotts Martin, Shane Mulvaney Peeler Ryberg Shoopman Thomas Verdin
Total–13
The necessary two-thirds vote having been received, the veto of the Governor was overridden, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.