EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Letters

March 3, 2013

Your view: Letters to the editor

(Continued)

Voter approval of these articles will be a win-win for Salem residents. It will finally bring the Soule, Fisk and Haigh school infrastructures into the 21st century, helping to enrich the current crop of students in attendance as well as future generations of our young ones. And as school renovations always translate into the raising of property values in surrounding areas, homeowners can look forward to a reversal of the downward turn in worth that many of our domiciles have experienced in the past five years.

For much more information on Phase 2 please Google “Strengthen Our Schools.” And also please join with me and thousands of other Salem citizens in approving Phase 2, Articles 2 and 3 on Tuesday, March 12.

William F. Klessens

Salem

Cigarette tax hike won’t hurt New Hampshire sales

To the editor:

On Feb. 14, Gov. Maggie Hassan submitted her proposed budget to a joint session in Concord. She proposed a few revenue enhancing proposals to help fund state priorities such as health care, public safety, education, infrastructure and economic development. One such proposal was an increase of 30 cents in the state excise tax on cigarettes.

At present, the excise taxes on cigarettes in New Hampshire and the surrounding states are: New Hampshire, $1.68; Maine, $2; Massachusetts,$2.51; and Vermont, $2.62. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in each state is: New Hampshire, $5.87; Maine, $6.97; Vermont, $7.60 and $8.49 in Massachusetts. Given the prices, New Hampshire will still have the lowest cost of cigarettes — $6.17 — compared to the states around us.

Republican Rep. Ronald Belanger of Salem recently told The Eagle-Tribune newspaper that a 30-cent cigarette tax increase would hurt middle- and lower-class families: “It hurts the working class families. If you’ve got a family of four or five kids, it’s going to take away from them. I wouldn’t put a burden on that family.” Rep. Belanger, I would say that such a family can’t afford parents that smoke.

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