Dec 22, 2015

A Raise For J.B. Reilly

There's one constant in every rejected state budget plan coming out of Harrisburg, that's a raise in the cigarette tax. In that land of the moral and mental midgets, cigarette smokers are the low hanging fruit. They're not exactly an organized group, with a lobby defending their interests. Back here, in the land of private bonanza, any increase goes straight into J.B.'s pocket. Only Allentown, in Pennsylvania, could be having a $Billion Dollar building boom, which doesn't benefit anybody, but one man.


Concerned Allentonian said...

Taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products are taxes on the stupid people who buy them. If smokers (the lepers of the 21st century) want to see their money literally going up in smoke, that's their problem.

I don't agree that it should be used to enrich Reilly and Jaindl for them putting up buildings either. If they want to play monopoly, they can be like anyone else and draw up a business plan and get funding from a bank. It's just the same crony capitalism we see in Washington with Solyndra and other schemes that cost the taxpayers money.

Government has no business in the real estate market. The money that comes from cigarette taxes should be used to build schools, fire stations, pay for police and fire and ambulance service.

Perhaps use the money instead to re-pave the streets, so the public doesn't have to get front-end alignments every six months due to the rotten condition of the other 10,000 blocks of Allentown outside of the NIZ. There IS a city outside of a few precious blocks of Hamilton Street and the northeast corner of Sixth and Linden. But I notice there is money for stupid bicycle lanes. Such is the priorities of Allentown City Hall.

michael molovinsky said...

concerned@7:14, i'm not an advocate for smoking, however, because drinking is politically correct, we endeavor to make alcohol shopping easier by eliminating state stores, while feeling justified with no limits to cigarette taxes?

John said...

My long-time objections to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's commanding control of the sin business might be mitigated somewhat if they legalized and regulated prostitution using the same model as the lottery ("benefits senior citizens"), alcohol (the famous 18 percent Johnstown flood tax), and tobacco. Oh, and the Turnpike Commission. My money-saving idea: keep with the "Fine Wine and Good Spirits" slogan, only changing the nouns to better reflect the attributes of the proposed new state employees. Minor change: no short-sleeve shirts, pocket protectors, or ties for sex workers! And Reilly and Jaindl can collect their portion off the top. After all, isn't that what they're doing already?

Anonymous said...

If not for the strategic move of Jim Dorward's former wholesale cigarette business from the East Side into a building downtown, the NIZ might not have gotten off the ground in the first place. Add that to a developer's friend moving his bank's headquarters here from Boyertown, and you're off to the races!

All legal, of course, just not of real help to Pennsylvania taxpayers.

Fred Windish

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be so sure the former Nat Penn's move to Allentown was on the "up and up". Is any bank financing City Center and the NIZ to the degree Nat Penn is?

People complain that Reilly is the only beneficiary of the NIZ. I disagree. Nat Penn bank was/is making a lot of money too and the NIZ has largely locked out all the other regional banks. Reilly didn't cobble the $20 million loan from an assortment of banks mind you - just one.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that quite a number of insiders have made money from this scam.

Anonymous said...

Let me tell all of you non smokers, something that every smoker knows. You could give to hoots about a smokers health, all you really care about is the smell of the smoke, so while you are at it, lets smack some other sin taxes out there, how about gambling winnings,and the casinos, or raising the tax on alcohol again, fries, burgers,and candy, the list could go on, and on.

Ted Yost