Smoke shop worker says customers cry, ask for single cig thanks to new tax

Categories: Taxes
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Sure, smokers aren't thrilled with the $1.60-per-pack tax that went into effect in July, but would you believe some are crying about it?

SEE ALSO: E-cigs banned at Target Field

That's how the sticker shock has manifested itself at one Twin Cities smoke shop, if a worker there can be believed.

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Lung Association's Bob Moffitt looks forward to July, when cig taxes go up $1.60 per pack [INTERVIEW]

Categories: Taxes
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Moffitt, a former smoker himself, has arguably become Minnesota's leading anti-cigarette activist.
After a $1.60-per-pack cigarette tax increase goes into effect on July 1, Bob Moffitt expects many Minnesota smokers to do as he did after college and quit.

Moffitt, director of media relations for the American Lung Association in Minnesota, says he kicked his cigarette habit cold turkey many years ago, and he supports the move Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature made this session to make Minnesota's cigarette taxes the highest in the five-state area.

FROM JANUARY: Smoking is slowly becoming illegal in Minnesota

"We expect our phones to be ringing off the hook after July 1," Moffitt said. "We expect a lot of calls from people who want to quit."

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History suggests increasing Minnesota cigarette tax won't be as lucrative for state as some think

Categories: Taxes
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Doubling cig taxes may reduce smoking, but it won't necessarily produce a cash infusion for the state.
In a commentary published in the Star Tribune today, economist Patrick Fleenor of Fiscal Economics Inc. makes a persuasive case that the state stands to gain less than lawmakers think from a GOP-proposed cigarette tax hike.

Minnesota's cigarette tax is currently near the national average, but the GOP proposal would raise the per-pack tax from $1.23 to more $2.52 per pack. That could amount to as much as $320 million annually for the state -- if people buy cigarettes legally.

And therein lies the problem, Fleenor argues. History shows that when Minnesota's cigarette taxes get out of whack with the rest of the country, people start smuggling cigarettes. And when people start smuggling cigarettes, taxed sales drop.

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In unusual move, GOP legislators propose tax increase

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Two GOP senators are proposing a tobacco tax hike.
Two Republican senators have introduced a bill to increase the state's tobacco tax from 35 percent to more than 47 percent.

The tax revenue, which could amount to as much as $320 million, would be funneled into the state's general treasury. According to Politics in Minnesota, earlier this week, one of the bill's co-sponsors -- Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester (the other is Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont) -- touted the increased tobacco tax as a way the state could reimburse schools the $2 billion owed them as a result of the funding shift used to pay down last summer's budget deficit.

The bill, which represents a rare instance of Republican legislators proposing a tax increase, now heads to the Senate Tax Committee.

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Minnesotans support taxing smokers to close budget gap

Categories: Taxes

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More than half the survey respondents would support increased cigarette prices.
​If the stress from thinking about Minnesota's budget deficit makes you think about lighting up a smoke, think again. Nearly 60 percent of Minnesotans would support increasing cigarette state taxes on tobacco to help solve the state's looming $5 billion budget deficit.

Those respondents supporting a tax increase weren't thinking in small numbers: 70 percent of those who favored an increase would approve of raising cigarette prices by up to $1.50.

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Prince listed as owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in Carver County back taxes

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Carver County has filed public notice in the Chaska Herald that Prince, under his legal name Prince R. Nelson according to the Strib, and his PRN Studios, owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes.

We dug through the legal notices, and sure enough, he and his properties are listed in there right along side regular people who can't make a guitar weep while doing the splits in a sequined suit and high heels. His PRN Music Corp. in Chanhassen Lakes Business Park owes the largest amount listed: $221,891.88.

Like everyone else, Prince must either pay the tax and penalty, plus interest and costs, or file a written objection with the district court administrator by April 21. If he doesn't file an objection, the property could come under court judgment, including the possibility of losing the property through forfeiture.

Here are some of the properties listed:

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Hecker owes $2.6 million in income taxes, IRS says

Categories: Notable MN, Taxes
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Bankrupted auto giant Denny Hecker has been circled by his creditors since last year for money owed. Now the Internal Revenue Service is on his tail too for a hefty sum of cash.

The IRS says Hecker and his wife owe at least $2.6 million in income taxes from 2003 and 2005, according to a May 11 filing. The IRS put liens on all of Hecker's property so if they sell it, the U.S. government gets a chunk of the dough.

Hecker filed personal bankruptcy this month, claiming nearly 1,000 creditors say he owes them nearly $1 billion.

Best of luck, sir.

Minn. DFL proposes increasing taxes on all things that matter

Categories: Booze, T-Paw, Taxes
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Photo by iluvrhinestones
In the proposal announced today by Minnesota Democrats, the legislators have come up with the genius idea of taxing all things that really matter in life: booze, cigarettes, and rich people.

Seriously, folks. When do we say enough is enough? Apparently when your state has a $4.6 billion deficit, the best option is to tax the sinners.


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Teabaggers: A day in the life

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Photo by stevedepolo
If you weren't teabagging someone yesterday, you're probably missing out on something that is sweeping the nation. Teabaggers congregated at so-called "tea parties" Wednesday, also known as Tax Day, to protest President Obama's tax policies, the bailouts, and anything else they didn't really like about America right now.

Think Obama is a fascist? Join us! Saw the rally cry on Fox News? Come on down! Just open wide and... well nevermind.

Here's a roundup of all things teabagged.


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Teabagging turns into cable news gold

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Thank goodness someone else saw this live on CNN when I saw it and posted it on YouTube for all to enjoy.

CNN reporter Susan Roesgen was out with the Chicago teabagging protesters this afternoon and she was riled up beyond belief. Add to that some serious heckling from the crowd, this cannot be missed.

Check out the clip and some highlights below.

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