Last week Governor Rick Perry made a very bold statement to smokers unhappy with the new tax on cigarettes to pay for public education. Though Perry's message was for smokers, it also hit home for Karolyn Klaes. "I was totally shocked at what he said about he didn't apologize to smokers. That is not how you get into office," says Klaes.
Karolyn owns a tobacco shop in Huntington and Lufkin. She's not looking forward to charging her customers more for tobacco taxes. "It's senseless. There is no reason for it. The state government has already taken lottery money and that's what's supposed to be going toward the school. And now they've just gotten greedy and they are thinking tobacco users are an endless supply of income," says Klaes.
She says the drastic price increase will have negative effects on her business. "It's going to cut my business back, which is going to be less sales tax dollars for this county and the towns I have my businesses in. It's going to hurt my employees because I will have to cut their hours because we won't have the customers," says Klaes.
Karolyn believes the new tax will actually hurt education because smokers will buy cigarettes in other states that border Texas to avoid paying the new tobacco tax.