Cigar Tax Will Hurt Business

New York State lawmakers have voted to raise cigar taxes from 46 percent of the wholesale cost to 75 percent. The increase will make New York’s cigar taxes the highest in the nation when the law goes into effect August 01, 2010.

Lawmakers say the tax will provide more than $500 million in revenue, but tobacconists say it will only hurt their business.

This ill-advised ruling is sure to backfire and, sadly, it is the ‘little guy’ who will be left holding the bag.

I am an avid supporter of B&M (brick and mortar) cigar shops and will buy locally whenever possible. I also ‘pass the word’ when I find a new shop, to bring business to these local merchants.

That said, if I lived in New York, I would already be finding an online cigar dealer and/or exploring nearby states to stock up on cigars and accessories to avoid paying the tax. It is a sad reality that, in these tough economic times, every saved penny counts.

It is, furthermore, heartbreaking that the ones who will have to pay most dearly for this asinine judgment will, once again, be the small business owners.

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