Diary

Another 20% hike on Cigarettes? ... Why not tax golfing?

President of the Georgia Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Jim Maran published a letter in the Gwinnett Daily Post on Saturday, March 20, 2010 titled: “Tobacco tax hike is the best way to offeset GA. budget shortfall”. Mr. Maran’s published letter is Here

I’m tired of people trying to find arbitrary groups or activities to tax due to the shortcomings of politicians to run government prudently. Here is my somewhat satirical response:

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Hey! Let’s tax golf courses, golfing, and golfers!

It never ceases to amaze me how some elitist businessmen and politicians try to find some arbitrary new tax or increase in taxes to make up for governmental budgetary shortfalls that have resulted from years of poor planning and wasteful spending. When they propose these new taxes, they choose areas that can be demonized and use the tyranny of the majority to discriminate against some segment of the population.

Just as liberal arguments for ObamaCare tout the “poor” children or Ms. Jane Doe will die without us getting taxed more and spouting statistics from a poll showing that 99 percent of people are against children dying; Mr. Maran wants to put a $ 1.00 or around a 20 percent tax increase on a pack of cigarettes.

Mr. Maran states that there are many arguments against a the tobacco tax, but fails to cite any, including the economics of diminishing returns; quotes a survey that says 73 percent support the $1 “fee”; and tugs at the heart strings that it will substantially reduce that evil habit of smoking in adults and, oh, the children.

This same argument could be used in the future in attempts to raise taxes on sugary beverages, caffeinated drinks, juicy red steaks, salt, and more on alcohol. The only thing holding them back is that coffee and alcohol do not currently provide the same poll numbers to support the tyranny of the majority to unreasonably tax the specific group.

Mr. Maran, here is a proposal for you: Let’s tax golf courses and rounds of golf. You seem to enjoy golf and hanging out at country clubs. The over 400 golf courses in Georgia generate over $ 6 billion in revenue. According to a report by the University of Georgia, of the golf facilities reporting membership dues, 22 percent reported dues larger than $1 million; more than one-half of the facilities obtained at least $200,001 from dues.

Think of the potential revenues from taxing the over 15 million rounds of golf played in Georgia. Instead of you thinking of ways to raise taxes while riding between bogeys on a golf cart paid by Federal tax credits for “electric vehicles”, you will be fixing the budgetary shortfalls caused by elite business lobbyists and politicians while improving your golf game. Is a little extra cost on your golf habit worth more than bankrupting Gwinnett Medical Center?

Maybe it is time for you to share your wealth instead of other’s wealth and pay a 20 percent tax on golf related services and fees since you so easily desire to arbitrarily over-tax others. With Lake Lanier and general water problems in Georgia, these golf courses suck down millions of gallons of scare water. Think of our future children all dying of thirst and remember: 99 percent of people are against children dying.