During the month of August the National Association of Tobacco Outlets’ (NATO) legislative staff members are contacting NATO retail members about an opportunity for them to invite their U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative to visit their corporate office or a retail store to talk about President Obama’s proposal to expand pre-school education nationwide and fund the program with the single largest federal tax increase on cigarettes and tobacco products in the history of the country.
The proposal would raise $75 billion over the next decade to fund the pre-K expansion program by increasing the federal cigarette tax rate by 94 cents per pack to a new rate of $1.95 per pack, and increasing all of the current federal tax rates on other tobacco products by 93%, almost doubling the current rates.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has already visited eight states (Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio) to encourage support for the pre-school expansion program.
With Congress in recess during August and many Congressional members returning to their home states for the next five weeks, this is the best time for retailers to call their U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and invite them to their office or to a store for a meeting on the President’s plan to raise cigarette and tobacco taxes, NATO reported. NATO is also encouraging retail members to call their U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and leave a message with Congressional staff to oppose the President’s cigarette and tobacco tax increases.