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Stogie Guys Friday Sampler CLXXIX

5 Mar 2010

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post a mixed bag of quick cigar news and other items of interest. We call ‘em Friday Samplers. Enjoy.

Keith Meier of Cigars International1) Keith Meier, founder and CEO of Cigars International, took to the pages of the Allentown Morning Call to oppose the effort to increase Pennsylvania’s cigar tax: “My company, Cigars International, just announced a $10 million  investment on a brownfield site in Bethlehem. As a result, we will preserve 175  jobs and create more than 50 new positions…In 1996 we brought Cigars International to Pennsylvania to escape crushing taxes from neighboring New York and New Jersey. Since then we have grown and expanded, adding employees and generating ever-greater state tax revenues. This economic activity would not have happened had cigar taxes been in place, and we certainly would not have invested so heavily in Pennsylvania this year had Gov. Rendell’s call for cigar taxes passed last year. Like many small and mid-sized businesses in America, Cigars International is creating jobs.”

2) One week ago, members of the cigar community met with members of Florida’s Republican party to tell them of the government-created challenges to their industry. According to Cigar Rights of America, during the event, “members of the Florida legislature were provided a tour of the J.C. Newman Cigar Company, while being briefed on what the Florida cigar industry means for local employment, with over 250 retail establishments and 60 family-owned manufacturers, leaf dealers, importers, and cigar corporate headquarters operations throughout the state, equating to over 5,500 jobs. It was further noted that over 70% of the cigars sold in the United States are either made or imported through Florida.”

3) Inside the Industry: Don Pepin Garcia’s first-Dominican-wrapped cigar, Dominicano, debuts at the historic Racine & Laramie cigar shop in San Diego on March 12. Other in-store events in New York and Florida will follow. This new release, available in rosado or oscuro variations, is notable because it represents a collaboration between Garcia, Nestor Miranda, and Guillermo León of La Aurora. Dominicano will come in five sizes and retail for $6-8.

4) Around the Blogs: The Stogie Guys, via The Daily Caller, feature the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill. Stogie Review lights up a Fuente Rosado Magnum 52. Cigar Inspector fires up a Liga Privada No. 9. The Cigar Nut smokes a Liga Privada T-52. A Cigar Smoker reviews the Gran Habano Azteca. Cigar Spy investigates the Perdomo Habano. Nice Tight Ash reviews the Don Pepin Garcia Blue.

5) Deal of the Week: They call it a Contraband Sale, but we call it just plain good deals. The best buys are on our favorites: the  J.L. Salazar box of 25 for $70 and the Cuban Crafters Cameroon box of 25 for just $60. Grab yours here.

The Stogie Guys

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4 Responses to “Stogie Guys Friday Sampler CLXXIX”

  1. Ethan K Friday, March 5, 2010 at 4:31 am #

    Pennsylvania collects 6% sales tax on C.I.'s in-store sales which adds up to a significant amount of $. A lot of people drive from New York & New Jersey to their "Superstore".

  2. dmjones Friday, March 5, 2010 at 5:16 am #

    CI should get ready to give Fast Eddie Spendell the middle finger and move to Florida if they put in place the taxes that are being called for. Same with any stores in Massachusetts if that state raises cigar taxes to 100 percent.

    If some of the states neighboring these that are inflicting punitive taxes on tobacco were smart, they would start lowering their tobacco taxes in order to attract businesses away. Can you imagine if PA put their new tax in place and NJ responded by cutting tobacco taxes altogether…CI could just hop across the state line. It's even easier in MA where pretty much the entire state is within an hour's drive of a neighboring state. Those states that cut all tobacco taxes would end up attracting a huge number of business to either open or move there, increasing the revenue to those states through business taxes, personal income taxes, and/or sales taxes.

  3. Dave in Ashburn Friday, March 5, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    I guess the flipside is that if PA does bork CI, Famous, et. al. my local B&M will be competitive again. :/

  4. dmjones Friday, March 5, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    BTW, is it just me or does the picture of Keith Meier look a lot like Lane Kiffin (curse him!) in his UT days?