… with extortion.
You’ve probably heard by now that Danville’s city manager, Joe King, is again proposing a 30 cent tax on a pack of cigarettes. Some people have howled that a city with a deep tobacco heritage like Danville should never even consider taxing such a product that made Danville what it is today. (Those people are idiots, by the way.) Face it, there are very few ways for Virginia cities to raise revenue and Joe King is doing what can do to try and get some money into the city’s treasury. It ain’t gonna happen this year either.
Thanks to representatives from the two tobacco stores threatening their (quite-justified) plans to close their city locations and move to the county if the tax passed, the council is not going to be blamed for the loss of businesses.
Who knew that threats to move your business out of town if things don’t go your way actually works? Well, John Cannon does. That’s why CCI was shockingly carved out when South Boston annexed most of Riverdale.
Councilman Fred Shanks was also smart enough to call bullshit on the projected revenue that the tax would bring in. Shanks understood that higher prices lead to lower sales… but who needs business principles when the power of business extortion exists?