Luxury goods and sin tax â€“ these are terms that not many people like, but have to deal with. Those in Tampa, Florida, in particular are fuming because of a recent proposal to increase yet again the tax on tobacco. It seems to me that this is all that we are hearing lately. Increase, increase, increase. There doesnâ€™t seem to be any respite in this area.
The involved people are not taking these talks lightly, though. Cigar makers and retailers are actually getting together to try and oppose this proposed increase in tobacco tax. The Tampa Bay Online reports:
Tuesday, local cigar makers and sellers mounted a petition campaign to thwart the move to tax their stogies, using rallies and a public relations campaign. About 75 protesters lined up on Dale Mabry Highway and Kennedy Boulevard to denounce the state’s proposal to raise taxes. Despite the rain and steady wind, most smoked cigars and held up signs that said, “Cigar Smokers Rock, Tobacco Taxes Should Drop” and “Tobacco Taxed to the Max.”
“The Senate is proposing a bill that would tax cigars at the rate of $1 per ounce,” said Eric Newman, owner of J.C. Newman Cigar Co. in Ybor City. “The state cigar tax would be on top of the massive federal tax increase that went into effect on April 1. Our consumers are just now going through sticker shock because of federal tax.”
Knowing what we know about Tampaâ€™s age old tradition of cigars, it is such a pity if the sector becomes marginalized because of the proposed piece of legislation, donâ€™t you think?