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Written by Puff Staff

Friday, 14 May 2010

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cigarbut Good day and welcome to the second edition of Smoking News for May. On tap today are two new issues that have surfaced in the Empire State, and one potential ban that saw its death in California.

New Yorkers May See Higher Cigar Taxes

nyc

Cigar smokers in New York could see higher taxes on their favorite sticks. This is if David Paterson, the state's governor, gets his wish. The proposed tax hike would be implemented as a way to help stem the state's huge budget deficit. Announced at the end of April, the higher tax proposal is just one part of the governor's plan to help save nearly $620 million dollars for the state of New York.

As it currently stands, cigars are taxed at 46 percent of their wholesale price. Just one year ago, taxes on cigars jumped from 37 percent to the current 46 percent rate. The proposed jump this time would be much more drastic, as Paterson wants the 46 percent to nearly double to 90 percent. If passed, such a rate would be one of the highest in the country. Little cigars, or ones with cellulose acetate integrated filters, would be spared the cigar tax, and instead be taxed like cigarettes, which equals to a rate of $3.75 per pack.

Of course, it's not groundbreaking news when the tobacco industry has to take such hits, as the product is seen as a health hazard by many and an easy scapegoat. However, to double a tax rate in such a short period of time could have drastic measures on the industry within the state of New York. Many residents could travel to other states for their tobacco products to avoid the extremely high state taxes, which in turn hurts New York tobacco businesses, Affects jobs, and so on. This would also hit the tobacco industry as a whole, when you consider just how important New York is to the cigar industry.

Only time will tell if the proposal for cigar tax hikes gets passed. If you are a cigar fan in the great state of New York, however, hopefully it will not.






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