Taxation victimization

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first_imgA coalition of health groups has submitted a proposed initiative for the November 2006 ballot that would nearly double the price for a pack of cigarettes in California by raising the per-pack tax by $2.60. The proceeds of this new sin tax would fund health-related services that will no doubt benefit everyone in the state, such as health insurance for needy children, improving the state’s overcrowded hospital emergency rooms and research for breast and prostrate cancer, among others. In unveiling the proposal, Jim Knox, legislative advocacy vice president of the American Cancer Society, called it the “best way to help tackle key elements of our growing health care crisis.” The best way? AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake That’s where we differ with the many illustrious health care associations aligned to support the ballot initiative. The crises in the state’s health care is real. However, placing the burden unfairly on the backs of one already kicked-about class of society can’t possibly be the “best way” to solve anything. What’s most troubling about the proposal is not that it seeks to punish rather than help smokers, but that it seeks to profit from their nicotine addiction. Only a fraction of the estimated $2.3 billion raised each year will go to smoking cessation or tobacco control and enforcement efforts – $213 million – an amount so negligible that it’s clearly just a token. If this law passes, it will be hard to see a difference been the motives of the tobacco companies to profit from people’s addiction and the health groups furthering their own agendas on those same people’s addiction. If the recipients of the proposed tax are all worthy causes, then they should be funded through a fair and equitable application of taxes. The state’s health care system – indeed, all the state’s infrastructure and services – has suffered from years of this squirrelly approach to tax policy. Since every tax is fought so vociferously, the answer has been to pick on one unpopular class of society or another. And even though statistics show that smokers as a class are low- and moderate-income, they are hit up again and again to pay for all of society’s ills. The Tobacco Act of 2006 is nothing more than taxation by victimization, an attempt of the majority to tyrannize a minority. That’s the worst kind of tax policy. Let the coalition bring a fair and honest proposal to raise money for the state’s health care problems, and then we can debate the merits of the beneficiaries – not of the nature of the tax.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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first_imgOcean City Police Chief Jay Prettyman and his wife, Tiffany. By Donald WittkowskiEven as a rookie cop in Ocean City in 1995, Jay Prettyman had thoughts of one day becoming police chief.On Thursday night, he got his wish when City Council approved Mayor Jay Gillian’s appointment of the 48-year-old Prettyman to head the Ocean City Police Department.“It’s great. I feel I have been prepared most of my life for this,” Prettyman told reporters.He started his law enforcement career serving as a summer police officer in Ocean City in 1992 and 1993. He worked as an officer in Haddon Heights, Camden County, from 1993 to 1995 before joining the Ocean City Police Department as a full-time patrolman in September 1995.He worked his way through the ranks, becoming a sergeant, lieutenant, detective lieutenant and then captain in 2008. Most recently, he has served as acting police chief.“Prettyman’s rank, education, experience and exemplary record of service within the department make him the ideal candidate,” Gillian said. “I’m confident he will continue Ocean City’s proud tradition of public safety.”Members of City Council made similarly glowing statements about Prettyman’s career and reputation while congratulating him on his appointment to police chief.Echoing comments by other members of the governing body, Councilman Keith Hartzell said Prettyman has been a key part of the police department’s high level of professionalism.“You’ll always have our support up here,” Hartzell told Prettyman.Members of City Council praised Prettyman’s career and reputation for professionalism.Prettyman holds a master’s degree in public safety from St. Joseph’s University and a bachelor’s degree in law and justice studies from Rowan University. He lives in Ocean City with his wife, Tiffany, and their daughters, Phoebe, 20, and Chloe, 16.He followed his father, John N. Prettyman, into law enforcement. The elder Prettyman retired as deputy police chief in Voorhees Township, Camden County.Prettyman takes charge on Feb. 1, the day after current Ocean City Police Chief Chad Callahan formally retires. Callahan has had a 25-year career and served as chief since 2008.Callahan had been on extended leave since injuring his shoulder. In his absence, Prettyman was named acting police chief on Feb. 24, 2018.“I am an extremely hard-working employee and an extremely loyal employee. At the end of the day, the hard work pays off,” Prettyman said of his patience while waiting for his formal appointment to the top job.He steps in at a time when the police department is going through a major transition that includes the promotion of 10 officers last year and the hiring of 11 new officers since August 2017.Moreover, the mayor and Council have spent the past two years exploring the possibility of building a new $17.5 million police headquarters to replace the city’s Public Safety Building, a former school more than 100 years old.In an interview after the Council meeting Thursday, Prettyman made it clear that he hopes the city builds a new police station. He noted that the antiquated existing building leaks during storms, forcing employees to break out buckets to catch the rainwater. It also includes an outmoded cell block dating to the early 1970s.“Our building now is in various stages of disrepair,” Prettyman said.As the new chief, Prettyman hopes to see the antiquated Public Safety Building replaced with a new police headquarters.Praising his predecessor, Prettyman said he doesn’t plan to undertake a major restructuring or any major reforms in the department, but would like to finish some of the initiatives that he and Callahan had started, including a greater emphasis on community policing.“I can honestly say that Chad and I ran the police department together. We started a lot of programs together,” he said.As chief, Prettyman leads a department with 60 full-time officers and an annual budget of about $8.5 million.His salary is currently under negotiation. Local ordinance caps the salary range for police chief at $160,000 annually.last_img

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