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Alcohol and cigarettes could cost more statewide; universities to cut 500 jobs if state budget passes

READ MORE: Alcohol and cigarettes could cost more statewide
Part of Governor Perdue's budget plan includes upping taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. The proposed “sin tax” would generate more than 400 million dollars for the weak state budget. Booze and cigarettes, both things people continue to buy despite the recession, could cost more come September 1st, if Governor Bev Perdue gets her way. "I think we have pretty good alcohol prices, but if they go up, it’s definitely not going to be great, because people aren't going to drink as much,” said Jeremiah Williams, a bartender at Fat Tony’s. With the economy already forcing people to pinch pennies, Williams said this is not the right time to raise a tax like this. "I've seen a decrease in people going out and spending what they usually would, cause their disposable income is so small." Perdue is proposing a five percent tax surcharge on all alcohol, which includes drinks bought at a bar or restaurant and bottles and cans purchased at a liquor store. Perdue also wants to raise the tobacco tax from 35 cents per pack to $1.35. For smoker Ben Adams, this may mean changing his habit. "I gotta cut down even more." Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is concerned these higher taxes will hurt cities that rely on tourism, like Wilmington. Visitors Bureau Director Kim Hufham isn't worried, noting the Cape Fear region has much more to offer. “People don't come here just to drink. People might get in a restaurant and buy one less drink, who knows? But it really won't affect people coming to area, because it's going to be statewide." The proposed sin taxes would produce nearly $400 million in revenue for the 2009-2010 state budget. The proposed budget plan still needs to go before the state legislature. The head of the University of North Carolina system says it will have to cut as many as 500 jobs if governor Perdue’s budget becomes law. Erskine Bowles told the senate budget-writing committee Tuesday that the proposed $192 million in system cuts would harm the quality of education on the 16 campuses. Instead, he urged lawmakers to consider giving campuses the ability to furlough workers to save money. The senate will propose and pass its own budget plan before sending it to the house, which will create its own version.

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I did respond to the guy below about second hand smoke... HOWEVER, MORE taxes is just that...MORE TAXES..whats next? A higher MOVIE TAX so when I go to the movie theater I get DINGED because I want to have some fun...a chewing gum tax cause it gets thrown on the streets...I mean WHERE DOES IT END...I for ONE am SICK AND TIRED of taxes...there was a time in this country where a ONE PENNY TAX would rile up the citizens of this country SO MUCH that the fear of GOD was stricken into our elected leaders to back off. NOW we don't do that anymore...PLUS they don't listen...which means we need to flippin get a backbone...RISE UP and toss some tea into the river...THEN toss every flipping elected leader that doesn't LISTEN out on their REAR ENDS, A-LA Elizabeth Dole!...of course...that will NEVER happen as we have become a pack of fat followers and DO NOTHINGS! All China has to do to increase its area...just walk over and take us...we'd just sit here and let em!

Sick of taxes

I agree with you about the taxes. The citizens of this country needs to take back their country, that has been hijacked by a bunch of socialist, determined to make us all slaves to their agenda, regardless of the consequences. If we don't stand up for the way of life that the majority of the citizens in this country believe in, we won't have the land of the free and brave much longer. There is a tea party movement going on right now. Get involved and make your voice heard! When elections come around vote out the idiots that keep putting the citizens under more tax burdens and eroding away American family values through their politically correct hoop la, environmental scares,etc. which will only cost you more taxes and freedoms.

Gotta love it

Obama is going to bankrupt the country and Beverly Purdue is going her part in bankrupting NC. She has lost her everloving mind. The gov't has already hit NC with all the tobacco taxes and smoking bans. Guess what folks. Joe Camel never made me pick up a cigarette. I made my own decision not to smoke. I do like to have a beer in the comfort of my own home. I am not a college kid binge drinker. I do not think this tax is the right idea. We pay taxes on everything else. We have one of the highest gas taxes in the country. Someone else stated if people dont drink and dont buy cigarettes, there is not tax. It's as simple as that. In this same article, the NC college system will cut 500 jobs with this budget. I'm no rocket scientist, but dont ya think education is more important than adding taxes on "sins" like cigarettes and tobacco. It's a good day to be a republican. That's all I got to say about that.

Sin Tax

What would happen if folks didn't drink or smoke then there wouldn't be a sin tax. I don't smoke & I've only had 4 drinks in 2009 so far-not a big drinker. I know it would hurt the businesses but Gov. Perdue wouldn't get her increase in taxes-she would have to come up with something else. But it's really a bad time to increase taxes. I've had a few people say they'll just quit smoking tobacco & just start smoking pot. Also cuts in education is the worst decision anyone can make. We're only going to raise dumb kids to run our country in next generation.


Maybe now I will be able to exit public buildings without having to hold my nose and dodge a tornado of secondhand smoke!!

Reply to awesome

You have got to be someone that drank the kool-aide! You can't see past your nose to spite your face. If everyone quit smoking and drinking where would the tax come from next??? Hopefully it would come from something that you enjoying doing, like drinking your latté's. You complain about having to hold your nose and dodge a tornado of secondhand smoke, well I could say the same thing about people that wear perfume. That too can be offensive and for those that have problems with migraines, if around the smell for even a short period of time, it can trigger something far worse than the smell of second hand smoke, like a headache that can last for weeks. So let's apply the sin tax to perfume too! In case you are still living in a bubble, with this president and congress, anything goes, to save the environment and economy, no common sense needs to be applied!

Perfume smell causes cancer now

"for those that have problems with migraines, if around the smell for even a short period of time, it can trigger something far worse than the smell of second hand smoke, like a headache that can last for weeks." So now a headache is worse than cancer. Amazing!


"for those that have problems with migraines, if around the smell for even a short period of time, it can trigger something far worse than the smell of second hand smoke, like a headache that can last for weeks." So now a headache is worse than cancer. Amazing! The response was meant to be on the sarcastic side of just how out of control our government is about taxing everything. I never stated that a headache was worse than cancer. I was referring to the comment of the smell of smoke compared to the smell of perfume. But common sense is obviously not in your agenda of setting the southerners straight! You too must be someone that drank the kool-aide! If you have never experienced a migraine, then you have no idea just how severe the pain can be. That is real, second hand smoke while the smell may be offensive, has not been proven to cause cancer. In the great out doors, there is no way that second hand smoke could possibly give you cancer. Wake up, just like the global warming scare; you are being manipulated into believing the worse from second smoke. If you would read the articles at the links posted, you may be a little more open minded towards problems like migraines that are very painful and can be crippling to those that do experience them. Article about second hand smoke, one of several that has been documented about it not causing cancer. Article about global warming, one of several that disproves Al Gore's scare tactic, which only pushes his green agenda to pad his banking account. Article about migraines that is real to millions of people.

Are you serious???

"That is real, second hand smoke while the smell may be offensive, has not been proven to cause cancer." Are you honestly going to tell us all that second hand smoke doesnt cause cancer? I guess I'll believe you over The National Cancer Institute. Ha!!! Boy are you clueless.

Are you serious??? SettingSouthernersStraight

I knew from your comments that you bought into the whole scare tactic about second hand smoke. But that is your right and just as it is my right to be open minded to research that disproves the second hand smoke theory causing cancer. That does not make me the one that is clueless. If you will read the articles published about second hand smoke not causing cancer, you will read how the data does not support the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association EPA study. FYI: I don't smoke.


OK...LETS JUST THINK here...I mean...LETS THINK ABOUT IT...Its the SMOKE that is INHALED that causes DAMAGE to lungs....NOW..the smoke that SMOKERS somewhat FILTERED....second hand smoke...smoke that is either exhaled, which probably is less dangerous, but HIGHLY offensive...OR smoke that is just coming from the end of the cigarette..which is UNFILTERED you think...that UNFILTERED smoke from a cigarette is SAFE to inhale?

to LOL

The whole discussion is about second hand smoke. I never once stated smoking not being harmful to the lungs of a smoker. They are inhaling smoke from a cigarette several times a day, week, month, etc. I was pointing out that when you are outside by someone smoking you will not get lung cancer from that type of exposure. The smell is offensive yes, but so is perfume to people that get migraines. I was being sarcastic about it originally, until SettingSouthernersStraight was obviously trying to be cute with his comments. I proceeded to debate another point of view about second hand smoke, which is not a popular view, but a view just the same. If you would read my statements you would be able to see that.

So let's get this right.

So let's get this right. Second hand smoke inside (closed environment) MAY give you cancer (you havent said yet), but second hand smoke outside definitely won't. Someone here is a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

So I'll believe some guy who

So I'll believe some guy who writes ezine Articles (mostly about dogs) above the American Cancer Society. The lengths of your ridiculousness are never ending.

So I'll believe some guy who SettingSouthernersStraight

What is ridiculous is when you are so closed minded that you won't even consider the possibility that there is fact behind the articles. But, it is my right to disagree with you and your right to disagree with me. I am willing to consider both sides of the argument, you give me the impression that you are not. Therefore it is a waste of my time to continue this any further. Ridicule me if you want, you only make a fool out of yourself when you cannot even give it some thought. There are many articles written on this subject by other reputable sources then "some guy who writes ezine articles". But I won't bore you with any more articles written by many other sources that state the same thing about the test results from American Cancer Society. Because you have made up your mind that it is not even a possibility. Fight for your opinions, but do not believe that they contain the whole Truth or the only truth. -Charles A. Dana (1819-97)

Everyone is missing the

Everyone is missing the point with the sin tax. ABC's website was full of postings last night from people who assume this is being done to stop people from smoking and drinking, as several states are going in that direction, not just ours. The state DOES NOT WANT people to stop drinking and smoking. They are counting on raising $400 million dollars off of it. They know if they just tried to raise the sales tax across the board that people would object and it likely would not pass. They know that people will not stop drinking and smoking as they are addicted, and that the support of those who believe this is solving a social problem will help get this measure passed.

Awesome! .... not

Do you have a clue how much of this state was built with tobacco money. Maybe now, there wouldn't be as many public buildings. Do you think that Winston-Salem was named after a cigarette? No ... it was the other way around. Do you drive a car? ... because I'm sick and tired of smelling exhaust ... I guess what I'm saying is this ... unless you 1) walk 2) ride a bike or 3) ride a horse ... you are a hypocrite. There has always been a tax on cigarettes .... and I might add an unfair tax ... but that's just the way it is. Is taxing a certain group of people right? ... maybe ... maybe not ... What about all the flatulence from cows that are contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer? Is there going to be a hamburger tax next? Maybe an extra tax if you get cheese on it ... because that comes from a cow too. And before you start-up with health-care cost .... the greed monsters of the Pharmaceutical industry are driving that puppy ... they are worse than those crooks on wall street .. but their lobbyist are really good ..... and just so you know .... I don't smoke!!!!!

All of those silly taxes you

All of those silly taxes you mentioned are just around the corner with the democrats in office. We already pay upward of 60 cents per gallon of gasoline just to have the privilege of driving. No wonder the gov't has a vested interest in keeping the oil industry our major source of energy. The state and federal governments will find a way to tax electric vehicles too, if the government ever allows them to become a widely used form of transportation. Look at the plans that some municipalities and states are starting to mull over, taxes on sweets, taxes on carry out foods, taxes on pets, special taxes on just about everything you enjoy and already pay sales taxes on. I, and many others, will be relocating to other countries where we can enjoy life.

Tobacco Taxes

Yesterday (Tax Day) my faith in the citizens of America grew, as I was revamped by the participation in TEA parties across our great country. Underneath all party affiliations people are realizing the monumental effect that these bail out plans and tax increases have on every American citizen. Whether or not the main-stream media directly covered this movement, Washington, D.C. viewed thousands and thousands people "that they work for" opposing excessive taxes. I understand the fundamentals behind taxation, but do not agree with government abusing this power. NC is a state founded upon the revenue from growing tobacco. Universities such as Duke, NC State, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and East Carolina were all started and are continuously funded by money made from the tobacco industry. Tobacco farming provides jobs for North Carolinians and contributes to NC's total exports. When prices of tobacco products are raised "along with Governor Purdue's public smoking ban" tobacco users will be reduced significantly due to the hassle of using the product. This is bad for the state, tobacco companies, and tobacco farmers. The less tobacco sold equals less tax dollars for NC. Less tobacco used equals less revenue for tobacco companies. With less money for tobacco companies, they are less likely to renew contracts with local farmers. Enviably farmers will lose their livelihood. Significant reductions in charitable donations from both tobacco companies and farmers will hurt the economy and NC will suffer. If the governments control surpasses our ability to make decisions, the people of our country will develop a dependence upon this hierarchy. With this dependence we will contradict our own constitution and the freedom that it represents.

You couldn't have said that

You couldn't have said that any better! I completely agree.

You know what's awesome?

Exclamations marks... and... ellipses!!...Lots of em...!!!!!!...!!!