According to a new Watchdog.org analysis, Pennsylvania leads in the nation in collections from “sin taxes.” The commonwealth collects more than $2.7 billion annually in taxes on tobacco, alcohol or gambling.
While Gov. Wolf and legislative leaders have declared that sales and income tax increases are off the table for this year's budget, a significant increase in tobacco taxes remains part of the mix.
These taxes have proven to be unreliable and declining sources of revenue.
Current rumors suggest a $500 million tobacco tax increase would be included to support the largest state budget increase in a decade.
Rather than look to more sin taxes, lawmakers should work to control spending growth before asking for more from Pennsylvania families.