Dec 22, 2010
Overall sales tax collections in restaurants and bars are up after smoking ban
Workplace smoking bans have never hurt business, and a report released Monday from the state Department of Treasury proves that, and it found that overall sales tax collections in restaurants and bars were up 2.84 percent over last year.
The workplace smoking ban that includes bars and restaurants went into effect on May 1, and despite the down economy in the country, tax receipts are up. This reflects the results from the 38 other states that have bans, and there has never been a credible study that shows a drop in business from a smoking ban. There has never been a reliable, peer-reviewed study or results that can show how less than 25 percent of the population who still smoke can have such an effect on business.
The simple fact is that this report is evidence that concerns about an alleged adverse economic impact from the popular smoking ban were exaggerated.
Now, critics of the ban that have used debunked studies in the past, like the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, and the MLBA has seized on the fact that, according to the Free Press, "sales tax collections also declined in neighborhood taverns, by 1.57 percent in 2010. “
In an economy that is just coming out of a recession with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, a 1.57 percent decrease in a small segment of the bar and restaurant industry isn’t bad. It certainly can’t, but will, be blamed on the smoking ban. However, the simple fact is that business is up in the bar and restaurant industry.
Even if bars and restaurants did not show an increase in sales because of the smoking ban, the U.S. Surgeon General report issued earlier this month that found that as little as one cigarette a day, or even just inhaling smoke from someone else's cigarette, could be enough to cause a heart attack and even death is more than enough to justify the smoking ban.