On the wish list of DuPage County Republicans is the authority to level a $2 per pack cigarette tax.
They want to be just like Cook County.
The way the bill is written, the McHenry County Board (of Cat Tax fame) would be able to levy the same tax.
When State Senator Pam Althoff was speaking to Crystal Lake Kiwanis last Wednesday the subject came up.
When asked by yours truly if she was going to vote against the cigarette tax increase, she emphatically said,
“Yes. Absolutely. I can tell you right now.”
She said that her smoking constituents were getting phone robo-phone calls from Phillip Morris.
The recorded voice would ask those who answered to press button 1, if they didn’t like the idea of raising cigarette taxes. The smoker would be transferred to their legislator’s phone number.
Althoff said they were getting phone calls like, “Don’t do that tax thing,” followed by a hang-up.
She also had some interesting philosophical comments.
Althoff said she didn’t “know if this is another lottery situation where you take it for one purpose and use it for another purpose.”
Here’s how she described the relationship between governmental officials and those governed:
“It’s a dialogue. That’s what referendums are all about. It’s transparency.”
She said that authorizing the county board to levy a $2 cigarette tax “is not dialogue.”
Crystal Lake State Rep. Mike Tryon previously voted against the idea, his legislative assistant and Kiwanis member Tina Hill said.