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NH GOP Cries Boo, Not Enough People Are Smoking

What happens when smoking rates decline in New Hampshire? The answer depends on your vantage point.

If you’re in charge of tax collection in the state of New Hampshire, you’re disappointed:

Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon said Wednesday that revenue is $4 million below estimates. She said the biggest disappointment was the tobacco tax which was $2.6 million behind projections for the month and now is $3.5 million behind for the year. The Legislature cut the tax 10 cents hoping to spur sales, but Hodgdon said sales are behind last year’s numbers.

Who in the Legislature cut the tax 10 cents hoping to get more New Hampshire residents smoking? Republicans did. But don’t worry, says the Republican Majority Leader, we just need to be patient. Eventually, the plan “will work.” Eventually, if people work hard enough to get the word out, those New Hampshirians will start killing themselves in greater numbers:

GOP Majority Leader Representative D.J. Bettencourt said it’s too early to gauge the impact of reducing the tobacco tax.

“My district is down in Salem. And I can tell you that many of the store owners are just now beginning to get out to their customers the fact that the tax cut has taken place. And they are advertising very heavily. I think as the word spreads, it will work.”

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