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Stogie Commentary: Some Oft-Overlooked Ammunition

25 Jul 2007

Raise your hand if you’re sick of reading about Congress’ proposed legislation that would increase federal taxes on cigars 20,000 percent. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Cigar Tax MoneyEver since news broke last week of anti-tobacco extremists’ most egregious and vile scheme since the adaptation of the smoking ban, the cigar world has turned upside down. It’s impossible to read anything stogie-related these days without some mention of the possible tax hike from five cents to up to $10 per stick.

But maybe that’s a good thing. Cigar manufacturers, retailers, and enthusiasts are more united now than ever before. This newfound camaraderie is largely a result of the media – television, newspapers, radio, and the Internet – and their willingness and ability to get the word out. After all, if we don’t band together and take some action, the smoking police will trample our collective rights faster than you can say “Connecticut Broadleaf.”

With that spirit in mind, I’ve thrown together a few interesting articles with oft-overlooked points that will add fuel to your fire and give you more ammunition when you call your senators.

For the Children?

This Human Events article points out that “the proposed tax will supposedly go to funding health care programs, but recent history should cause us to beware of such claims. Remember the big tobacco settlement that came about in the late 1990s? The funds from the settlement were supposed to go to healthcare, but as this article notes, much of it went instead to highway repairs and school construction. Who really thinks that the allocation of funds from a $10 cigar tax will be any different?”

A New Black Market

Aside from highlighting several retailers who predict they will be out of business if the bill passes, this Arkansas News Bureau article quotes a tobacco store owner who suggests “the black market, which supplies many Americans with illegal Cuban-made cigars, would be expanded to include the non-Cuban varieties” once the price of legal cigars is driven up by the tax.

Tobacco as the Enemy

Like many concerned aficionados, Sarah Soza, owner of a small, family-operated B&M in California, wonders why cigars are targeted over other, more dangerous goods. The Fresno Bee reports that “she doesn’t understand why the cigar industry is included in the health insurance funding bill, while other industries such as soft drink and candy makers are not…‘I believe in providing health insurance for children, but why are we the only ones paying for it?’”

Patrick A

Tags: cigars

Drew Estate

6 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: Some Oft-Overlooked Ammunition”

  1. George E Wednesday, July 25, 2007 at 7:46 am #

    Additionally, you might want to ask your senators and representatives about yesterday's NYT story (<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/24/business/24drugtax.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper&oref=slogin&quot; rel="nofollow">link) detailing how Congress gave massive tax breaks in 2005 to multinational corporations who were supposed to create new U.S. jobs. Drug companies were the biggest tax beneficiaries and went on to lay off tens of thousands of U.S. workers.

    And while the drug firms are supposed to pay up 35% of worldwide profits in U.S. taxes, few pay anywhere near that much because of loopholes. Amgen, for instance, paid under 6% on profits of $3.4 billion. Or how, detailed in a recent NYT piece, Blackstone (<a rel="nofollow" href="http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F20614F7355A0C708DDDAE0894DF404482&quot; rel="nofollow">link) was able to "effectively avoid paying taxes on $3.7 billion, the bulk of which it raised last month selling shares to the public."

  2. Patrick S Wednesday, July 25, 2007 at 7:53 am #

    Also you can ask them why taxes are being raised on smokers when a recent report found that the Federal Government has been <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070723/BUSINESS01/70723025/1001&lead=1&quot; rel="nofollow">paying billions of dollars in farm subsidies to farmers who are no longer alive.

  3. furious Wednesday, July 25, 2007 at 8:17 am #

    Even though I am not a politico like many here, I am outraged by this attack on our pursuit of happiness. Thank you gentlemen for the information and I just e-mailed my Senators to express my disgust.

  4. Grant's Tobacco Wednesday, July 25, 2007 at 4:25 pm #

    We're doing all we can to spread the word out here in tax-burdened California! We'll be sending out an email blast and directing our friends

    here.

    Great point Sarah Soza!

  5. Konstantinos Friday, November 9, 2007 at 1:11 pm #

    Cool…

  6. Theodosios Friday, January 4, 2008 at 8:56 pm #

    Sorry 🙁