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East End News

Reactions from social media on the “No” vote for cigarette tax

“The proposal by Councilman Parker Agelasto (5th District) found minor support among members of the committee, who asked how it would fit into the city’s larger plan to fund school improvements. They also expressed concern that it was a diminishing source for city leaders to count on in the long run”. Cynthia Newbille, the council’s vice president, said that while she supported the meals tax increase, she could not support levying a cigarette tax for school construction. “I’m not prepared to go again with just a tax,” Newbille said. “And one that, Mr. Agelasto, as you indicated, one that is not reliable or sustainable.”
Richmond Time’s Dispatch As you know the vote failed, but who voted how? On the meal tax vs the cig tax: On the tax rate as it compares to other states: On the suggestion to keep exploring more suggestions? The team at RVA Dirt reminds us all to get involved:

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32 comments

Paul Allen
Paul Allen 04/24/2018 at 9:47 AM

When are we going to stop electing democrats who only more taxation? Wake up RVA! Taxation is a cancer that is killing our city.

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Patrick Oxenham
Patrick Oxenham 04/24/2018 at 11:33 AM

Didn’t the council composed of mostly democrats vote it down? Jus sayin

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Paul Allen
Paul Allen 04/24/2018 at 12:10 PM

They will certainly find another way to make up that lost revenue. Cigarette taxes in RVA would never fly here.

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Christian Briggs
Christian Briggs 04/24/2018 at 12:48 PM

I think lung cancer is a cancer that is killing our city.

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Richard McNeil
Richard McNeil 04/24/2018 at 10:15 AM

I can’t believe people are backing the tobacco giants.

Does anyone even KNOW a smoker anymore?

Sad isolated marginals huffing in the sleet.

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Terrapin Marquis
Terrapin Marquis 04/24/2018 at 12:45 PM

You know who didnt smoke? Hitler. And you, apparently. I’ll stand against Hitler, thank you very much.

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Brandon Czeizinger
Brandon Czeizinger 04/24/2018 at 1:13 PM

I don’t smoke
And I don’t allow smoking on my jobs
Tobacco or whatever those idiotic electronic things are

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The U.....nion Hill 04/24/2018 at 11:09 AM

The government is not entitled to our money. Soda, meals or cigarettes should not be subjected to additional taxes.

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Chris Dosier
Chris Dosier 04/24/2018 at 11:34 AM

While it may seem that taxing cigarettes is a worthy endeavor, let’s be honest and realize that Altria/PMUSA is one of the largest employers in Richmond and thus is a golden goose not only in employment but tax base including sales, property, etc by the company and its employees. So to expect City Council to go after their products is laughable. Just ask Petersburg how it went for them when Brown & Williamson decided to close shop. With that being said, if the city wants to find money for schools, look inside City Hall where waste is rampant on a per capita basis compared to other cities.

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SA Chaplin 04/24/2018 at 12:45 PM

Does anyone really believe that more money to schools =improved schools?

When the families who send their children to Richmond Public Schools begin to care about education, then schools will improve. Problem is, how do you get them to care about education?!

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ChimboPark 04/24/2018 at 12:52 PM

Our own councilwoman’s response was comical as last night she says, “Let’s not piecemeal this together,” when a month ago she gladly voted for the meals tax…

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John T. 04/24/2018 at 1:49 PM

All these taxes has anything been fixed in our schools? Has anyone seen any proposals or plans on the table to fix them? Where is this money going? “Schools?” Which schools? What specifically is being fixed? How much is it going to cost? Have their been any RFPs issued? Its confusing to me- the natural reaction is not to question where the money is going or how its being spent. The natural reaction is to criticize, name call, or blame people for the problem.

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Debra Miller
Debra Miller 04/24/2018 at 1:51 PM

They made the wrong decision. We all pay billions in smoking caused health problems. I work in healthcare. If you could see the medical history of a long term smoker your jaw would drop. The last years of COPD are horrible. breathing treatments, oxygen, impaired mobility due to peripheral artery disease, heart disease, pain, incontinence. Most don’t know about the incontinence from many years of coughing. If the cancer isn’t enough of a deterrent, maybe adult diapers should be.

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K 04/24/2018 at 2:24 PM

I know who I won’t be voting for (Again) next time around. Apparently our kids can wait… a more comprehensive plan? Yet you shoved this POS meal tax plan on the restaurants. Please don’t hide behind our kids, you’re obviously on team Altria.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 04/24/2018 at 2:34 PM

I agree, relying on cigarette taxes for funding anything is foolish since it is a habit that continues to diminish yearly. Looking at charts, in 1965 around 45% of the America population smoked. Today, it is only around 12% and dropping rapidly. What is even crazier, the majority of the cigarette smoking population are low income who really can’t afford it! The tobacco companies rely mainly on exports now.

Taxing food is more logical since our country has become one of obese people. Another correlation chart shows a rapid rise around 1980 where it was about 16% of the American population to around 37% in 2010 and rising. Too much supersizing and overindulgence with fast and junk food with little to no exercising to compensate.

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Damn Teenager 04/24/2018 at 2:39 PM

Whoa everyone… re-read what Cynthia said, “… also expressed concern that it was a diminishing source for city leaders to count on in the long run”.

That makes perfect sense, if forecasting suggests there will be reduced tobacco consumption in the future. Why would you underpin a funding plan that has a source with some anticipated drop-off?

Tax the hell out of cigarettes, I don’t care, just don’t plan on that tax basis if there is a downward trend in consumption.

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ChimboPark 04/24/2018 at 2:44 PM

@15 – So the people who smoke can’t afford a tax on cigarettes. Does that mean they can’t afford the health issues associated with cigarettes?

Where do you think that cost gets pushed to?

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Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones 04/24/2018 at 2:46 PM

Taxing our food but not cigs?! Crazy talk. It’s 2018, smoking should be dead but RVA is the most cig-riddled city I have lived in yet. This is a missed opportunity.

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ChimboPark 04/24/2018 at 2:46 PM

@15 – Also to add if you think eating out has a direct correlation to obesity then wouldn’t a soda tax make more sense, not a meals tax. Unless you’re insinuating that all meals out are unhealthy.

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Steve Brokob
Steve Brokob 04/24/2018 at 3:06 PM

They’re $10 a pack in New York… Virginia is second lowest tax rate on cigarettes in the country. I feel like 80 cents a pack isn’t much to ask for if it would actually help repair/build schools in the city.

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Paul Allen
Paul Allen 04/25/2018 at 9:38 PM

You are absolutely BLIND! Our endless liberal dictatorship been taxing our brains out for years!!! What has ever changed (including the democratic blockade that has existed for 150+ years that rules RVA?). Schools have always and will continue to suck – until we hire quality facility, the roads are worse than Baghdad, our existing infrastructure is rotting, and don’t get me started on the utilities scam… but hey… in the name of “public good,” lets tax some more to ruin our leading industries, thus losing jobs that are the backbone of this city. This way we can all go back to sucking the Lavar’s teat. Because the kids can’t wait, right. Just please google what party has taken a dump all over this city for since 1853… 36 out of 38 mayors and not one conservative in 30 years. So yeah… keep drinking the liberal taxation Kool-Aid, dork!

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Steve Brokob
Steve Brokob 04/25/2018 at 9:48 PM

Raise the price to $10 so people can have a reason to stop buying poison and creating huge medical expenses to treat health related illnesses from smoking. Big tobacco could lose all the jobs in the state and I feel that’d be a benefit for everyone.

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John Chilton
John Chilton 04/24/2018 at 4:47 PM

Bit confusing the CHPN link begins with a quote from February RTD. That same RTD article tells us “As of 2016, 91 localities in the state levied a cigarette tax. That includes two in the region: Petersburg and Ashland. Richmond is the only major city in the state without one.” Seems to me a no-brainer that the city should broaden its tax base to include cigarettes, either to improve school funding or to lower taxes elsewhere.

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Johnny Law 04/24/2018 at 4:58 PM

I am sick of hearing the phrase “support our schools”. Does anyone realize that in the last four years, the Richmond Public School system has received over 1 billion dollars of our money? ($1,073,846,108 approximately). look at the last 4 annual budgets if you don’t believe it.

Where is the oversight or the demand that before we implement another tax, we hold the school board accountable or require them to show some level of accountability. So far, it seems that many want to parade their kids around claiming that if we wont give RPS a blank check then we clearly are against the youth of this city. The claim that we don’t “support our schools” is ridiculous.

How about a retort to RPS and their supporters…. “put up or shut up”

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Bill 04/25/2018 at 2:15 AM

Why do you want to support a failed public school system? Why not fix it?

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Kay 04/25/2018 at 5:37 AM

More funding for RPS is not the answer. How’s that new MLK building helping out with test score? Are the kids getting a better education? The stats don’t support this…

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jean Mcdaniel 04/25/2018 at 8:27 AM

I completly agree with Johnny Law.

I recently received a traffic ticket due to the “stop arm” law which is touted as being implemented to keep out children safe. All revenue received from this scam (40%) supposedly goes to our schools. See earlier article posted on CHPN. The $250.00 fine that I was threatened with, but which I did not deserve was not forthcoming because the Judge agreed with me that I had not violated any traffic laws.

Thanks Johnny!

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Steven 04/25/2018 at 11:51 AM

Just gonna throw this out there as we’re a pretty progressive community – taxes on tobacco products hurt very disproportionately the poor. While just randomly taxing things is less than ideal in terms of a long term sustainable financial strategy, at least the meals tax affects mainly people who have more means.

Also some pretty hateful language here against smokers. No one would dare say those kinds of things about people struggling with other types of addiction, especially with ongoing opioid crisis. How do you rationalise treating smokers any differently? And no – not a smoker!

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Chris Harnish
Chris Harnish 04/26/2018 at 6:51 PM

Funny how Newbille went with increasing the meal tax that was supposed to be temporary as an argument against a cigarette tax that would diminish over time?. I certainly wish our council would diminish over time as well. None of this actually improves our schools.

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ray 04/27/2018 at 8:14 AM

What was Mayor Stoney’s position on increasing the cigarette tax?

Since he publicly said nothing about it, I think it’s safe to say he was against it.

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B. Brodie 04/29/2018 at 5:17 PM

How about cutting spending? Or, there’s no waste in RPS?

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