What if there was a tax on gum? Apply the current cigarette tax onto gum, and each individual piece of gum will cost $0.28 each compared to $0.30 per cigarette. Here’s how the formula used to figure it out:
- $6.00 pack (with tax)
- 20 cigarettes in a pack
- $0.30 per cigarette
- $0.83 pack (with no gum tax)
- 12 pieces of gum in a pack
- $0.07 per piece of gum (with no gum tax)
To buy cigarettes in chicago, the tax is $2.53/pack. So let’s put that onto gum. A $0.83 gum pack would then cost $3.36/pack. A whopping 28 cents per gum! That’s almost the exact same amount per cigarette!
(Here’s the sources for the cigarette tax numbers: state, total.)
Actually in Feb 2005, there was talk of putting tax on gum in London. Instead the “gum summit” in London decided to send gum manufacturer Wrigley a giant mean postcard signed by all delegate cities, with the message “Wish You Weren’t Here.”
However, an industry spokesman said, “Our research shows that a tax or levy would not be effective, as people would feel they have a right to drop the gum because they had already paid for it to be cleaned up.”
I say they should just have fun and connect the dots with gum on the sidewalk.