Another Victory for the Cigar World, by Tommy Zman

It doesn’t seem like the cigar or tobacco industry has many successes when it comes to government legislation, but this week some good news actually came out of California, possibly the most unfriendly state there is in the union when it comes to ANYTHING to do with smoking. While the vote was as close to dead even as can be, the people voted down raising taxes on tobacco, a move that has the smoke Nazi coalition fuming (pun very intended.)

From the California Secretary of State’s online voters guide, PROP 29: Imposes additional $1.00 per pack tax on cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products. Revenues fund research for cancer and tobacco-related diseases. Fiscal Impact: Net increase in cigarette excise tax revenues of about $735 million annually by 2013–14 for certain research and tobacco prevention and cessation programs. Other state and local revenue increases amounting to tens of millions of dollars annually.

First of all, no one knows where they come up with these inflated facts and figures and furthermore, no one can ever seem to account for the revenue coming in. A decade ago or so, New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman more than doubled the tobacco tax claiming it would generate half a billion dollars, but guess what? The bill failed miserably and taxes were eventually lowered. Why? Because people went to places like across the border in Pennsylvania to buy their cigarettes – where there was ZERO tax on tobacco – and our great state of Snooki & the Sopranos actually lost millions and millions in tax revenue. And this is just one of the reasons that over-taxing a product does not work.

On that same California State webite, they listed the pros and cons of Prop 29, and here was the con – and if you read it, you would vote down this ridiculous measure as well: Everyone supports cancer research, but Prop. 29 is flawed: $735 million annually in new taxes but doesn’t require revenue be spent in California to create jobs or fund schools. Creates new government spending bureaucracy with political appointees, duplicating existing programs. More waste, no accountability to taxpayers. No on 29.

A few years back it was the same left coast state lead by meathead Rob Reiner that began the war on smoking by raising taxes and banning tobacco virtually everywhere. Restaurant and establishment owners who had spent huge dollars building cigar bars and lounges were forced to shut down and many people’s life’s saving went up in – well, you know. The scary part was that it was California that set the precedent, leading the charge in anti-smoking fascist movement. New York followed suit as many great cigar friendly establishments were crushed by the new laws, then their legislature went and raised the tobacco tax to devastating 85%, but thankfully like here in New Jersey, I have heard that the tax may be lowered significantly, real soon.

So it is vital that California’s people continue to defeat these dreadful and crippling tax hikes as no doubt, the other states are watching and ready to pounce after a big state like CA makes that first move. And again, while the vote was so close it was scary, (50.8% to 49.2%) the majority said, “Enough is enough of this bulls@!t!” I’ve been saying it for months and months on this blog, guys, but it is going to get tougher and tougher on cigar smokers and we have to continue to make noise, not back down, and stand up, and kick and scream and fight like patriots for our rights! So how about a thumbs up and a hell yeah to the people of the Golden State who said NO to political fascism! It sure as hell is a good excuse to smoke ‘em cuz ya gottem!

PLEASE SUPPORT Cigar Rights of America as they continue to deal with congress, the senate, and all US legislators who need to be made aware that our cigars are the best friends we know of and we will fight like hell to keep them in our lives! >>


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

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