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Stogie News: Fighting for Survival in California

18 May 2006

Cigar Aficionado is reporting that a coalition of cigar manufacturers and other cigar organizations are preparing a lawsuit to challenge a proposed California state tobacco tax.

To coordinate the fight against this new extraordinary tax, officials at the Ashton Cigar Company, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia., Davidoff U.S.A., J.C. Newman Cigar Company, and Prometheus International Inc. are teaming up with the Retail Tobacco Dealers of America to form the California Association of Liberty and Choice, which will lead a grassroots opposition to the tax.

If approved by ballot initiative in November, the “Tobacco Tax of 2006” will impose a tax of 135 percent on tobacco products, including on our beloved stogies.

According to C.A., David Berkebile, President of the Retail Tobacco Dealers of America trade association, predicts that if enacted, “every tobacco shop in California will be out of business.”

Stogie Guys Analysis

Taxes that target smokers are wrong. When politicians and well-funded “activists” target taxes on unpopular or unorganized groups in order to fund their pet projects, it is the political equivalent of a schoolyard bully picking on the weakest kid in school. If politicians cannot convince citizens that taxes to fund their projects should be spread broadly across the tax base, they should reevaluate the necessity of the program, not look for a more vulnerable group with which they can saddle the burden.

And as if that were not enough, the Left-Coasters behind the “Tobacco Tax of 2006” have set the tax rate so high that, at least for hand-rolled cigars, it is unlikely to raise any additional revenues at all because it will drive nearly all cigar stores out of business.

Fortunately for California’s Stogie Guys, online retailers and catalogs will allow smokers to purchase tax-free cigars. But if the tobacco tax initiative passes, the days of browsing the humidor at the local cigar shop may be over forever in the Golden State.

What a shame.

-Patrick S


2 Responses to “Stogie News: Fighting for Survival in California”

  1. Anonymous Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 6:02 am #

    Tobacco is a gateway drug that leads to smoking marijuana which, as everyone knows, leads to heroin addiction. Smoking Cohiba’s is the beginning of the dangerous path to smoking blunts. By taxing the sh!t out of tabacco California will create an exodus of drug users and effectively eliminate its tobacco AND drug problem.

    That, or we’ll just buy our tabacco online through out of state vendors.


Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Stogie Alert: Stop the $10 Per Cigar Tax Increase - Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    […] We’ve long argued against punitive tobacco taxes – which we‘ve noted are simply picking on a minority already pays more than its fair share, but this proposal blows all other proposed tax increases out of the water.  And even if you think that SCHIP is something worth funding, you should still oppose a regressive tax on tobacco that picks on a small and already discriminated against group. […]