Re "Tax hike has many Utahns bootlegging cigarettes" (Tribune, June 20):
It is a good thing that more Utahns are driving out of state to buy cigarettes because of Utah's $1 tax hike, even if it means less revenue for Utah. We didn't raise the tax to make money, but to discourage smoking.
I imagine that periodic tobacco trips from Salt Lake City to Wendover (121 miles), Evanston (82 miles) or Malad (108 miles), will get old after a while, and at least cause some rationing to stretch out the inventory.
All to the good. Sin taxes are primarily to discourage the activity (then to fund treatment), not profit from it.
As to the state's transportation fund being down because people are buying more fuel-efficient cars, that, too, is something to celebrate.
Here's the most appalling sentence in the news story: "Utahns traditionally tend to return to buying gas guzzlers when the economy improves." That's when we should raise the gas tax to keep the incentive to drive fuel-efficient cars. I have no problem with big cars, just gas-guzzling ones.
Now, how about a sin tax on junk food?
Salt Lake City