States look to sin taxes for revenue streams
Legislators across the United States are looking for new sources of revenue from casinos in Massachusetts to legalizing and taxing pot in California.
State Rep. Martin Walsh, a Boston Democrat, told The New York Times his colleagues, who voted his casino bill down, may be more receptive to it now. The measure would authorize two resort-style casinos in Massachusetts, one of them in Boston.
“I think they figure if they become part of the tax stream, the less vulnerable they will be to some shift in mores,” said the sponsor, state Sen. Bob Coffin.
Hawaii is considering legalizing same-sex marriages to lure gay couples.
In Washington, state Rep. Mark Miloscia was surprised by the resistance to a tax on pornography. He said he did not see anything like this when he raised taxes on cigarettes and liquor. “Apparently porn is right up there with Mom and apple pie.”
California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who represents San Francisco, suggests legalizing marijuana would allow the state to capture some revenue from a major cash crop.
This all not only makes sense, it proves that politically, economically, we’re about a half-century behind the rest of the civilized world.
I don’t gamble; but, I chuckle whenever watching a Sunderland football match on Setanta and the electronic hoarding pops up with “PaddyPower.com will pay 3 to 2 that Kenwyne Jones will score in the next 10 minutes. Press the Red Button on your remote to place that bet!”
DirecTV, the FCC and all the fuddy-duddies in Congress won’t let the Red Button on my remote do anything like place a bet. I don’t get to make that choice.