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 Smoke 'em if you got 'em 
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Post Smoke 'em if you got 'em
http://www.sptimes.com/2007/07/17/Busin ... pani.shtml

Cigarmakers in a panic

The federal tax on each cigar could rise from 5 cents to $10.

By JAMES THORNER
Published July 17, 2007

Eric Newman punches the numbers on his calculator and gapes at the results one more time.

It's no mathematical error: The federal government has proposed raising taxes on premium cigars,
the kind Newman's family has been rolling for decades in Ybor City, by as much as 20,000 percent.

As part of an increase in tobacco taxes designed to pay for children's health insurance, the nickel-per-cigar
tax that has ruled the industry could rise to as much as $10 per cigar.

"I'm not sure in the history of man, since our forefathers founded the country in 1776, that there's ever
been a tax increase of 20,000 percent," said Newman, who runs the Tampa business founded by
grandfather Julius Caesar Newman. "They had the Boston Tea Party for less than this."

When it comes to tobacco sales, cigars are just a speck compared to cigarettes. In 2006, the nearly
400-billion cigarettes sold domestically dwarfed the 5.3-billion cigars.

But cigars are intertwined with Tampa's lineage.

Though the local industry has shriveled from foreign competition and domestic consolidation, cigarmaking
still employs more than 1,000 in Tampa. About 900 work at the factory, offices and warehouse of
Hav-a-Tampa, owned by foreign tobacco giant Altadis.

Newman machine-makes 35,000 cigars a day at 16th Street and Columbus Avenue and imports
hand-wrapped varieties from Latin America. He estimates Florida makes or imports 80 percent of the
cigars consumed in the United States and predicts devastation if the new taxes are approved this summer.

Many casual smokers are well heeled enough to plunk down $10 for a premium puff. But would they
pay $15 to $20 for the same pleasure?

"Why don't we just go out of business?" Newman said. "Here, you can run our company, Mr. Government."

Here's the source of the controversy: The Democrat controlled Congress has sought an extra $35-billion
to $50-billion for the state children's health insurance program. The program distributes payments to the
states to help buy coverage for kids not poor enough for Medicaid.

Cigarettes, which accounted for more than 95 percent of tobacco tax collections last year, are the main
focus of the bill. Federal taxes on a pack would jump from 39 cents to $1.

But the legislation has dragged cigars along for the ride. The industry operates under a 4.8 cents-per-cigar
tax cap.

Under the proposed bill, taxes on "large cigars," a category that includes all but the tiny cigars sold in 20
packs like cigarettes, would rise to 53 percent.

A U.S. Senate version of the bill under consideration today in the Finance Committee sets the maximum
tax per cigar at $10.

"We are a very small industry. We're the fly. The cigarette industry is the elephant as far as tax collections
are concerned," Newman said. "We've been roped in with conglomerates that own cigarette companies."

Newman's eyes and ears in Washington, Norm Sharp, president of the Cigar Association of America, was
dumbfounded when the legislation went public Friday.

"I thought there was a typo. I thought they meant 10 cents per cigar, not $10 per cigar. I was stunned like
everyone else," Sharp said.

Sharp's organization represents 66 members, including Newman, Altadis and Jacksonville's Swisher
International, the global company that makes Swisher Sweets.

The association has lobbied to exclude cigars from the bill, but bristles at the public relations challenge: How
do you oppose a sin tax Congress has rigged to help sick kids? Senate staffers couldn't be reached for
comment.

In Newman's view other companies declined comment and left the talking to Sharp, it's not just unfair but
also immoral to overtax a product enjoyed not by addicts but by worthy pleasure seekers. The average
aficionado smokes about three cigars a week at about $3 to $5 apiece, according to the cigar association.

"A good wine. A good scotch. A good bourbon. A good cigar. It all enhances the quality of life," Newman
said. "We're in the relaxation business."

The Bush administration may inadvertently come to the industry's aid. The president has vowed to veto
the bill, not over the cigar provision but over objections to expanding federally financed health care for
the non-indigent.

Several business in and around Ybor City, usually blind to the workings of Washington, will be craning their
necks toward the capital.

"Things happen strangely in Washington," Newman said.

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Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:49 am
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Typical liberal Dem shake down, they can't slap a small cigar co. w/ million dollar lawsuits, so now they will scare them into a $2(?) a cigar tax "compromise".... all in the name of "children". :roll:


Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:37 am
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Poorly written article with a slant for the dramatic. Intentionally misleading.

The article leads you to believe there will be a $10 tax on the cigars, up from $0.05.

If you read the article, there will be a 53% tax on cigars. The article clearly states.

Quote:
The average aficionado smokes about three cigars a week at about $3 to $5 apiece


53% of $5 is $2.65, not $10. Yes it's steep, but it is not 20,000%

The $10 figure comes from a MAXIMUM tax, meaning the most expensive cigar in the world could be not be taxed more than $10. A $30 cigar at 53% would cost an additional $15.90 but the law PREVENTS this by capping the tax at $10.

The tax is a pile of crap, but so is this article.


Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:50 am
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i enjoy cigars with my bourbon on occasion.

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Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:39 pm
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2fisted wrote:
Typical liberal Dem shake down, they can't slap a small cigar co. w/ million dollar lawsuits, so now they will scare them into a $2(?) a cigar tax "compromise".... all in the name of "children". :roll:


Funny how THE WAR can suck our economy dry but THE LIBERALS are taxing the little guy dry
Wake the fuck up
THEY are all the same
THEY are happy you try to make a distinction between them
THEY have YOU right where they want you
btw
Scaring people into compromise is exactly what the CONSERVATIVES are all about when it comes to giving away HALLF of your rights in the name of security
WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!?!?
That's the mantra of the conservative movement my friend
It's been that way since I was a children myself

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Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:45 am
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When I was 13, Swishers are what I started out smoking on a regular basis. I've since moved on to better things, and think they taste disgusting now. However, having worked in a porn shop where we sold swishers, I can say that there is one reason people would buy them, and it's not for the tobacco. It's so that they can be hollowed out, and used for blunts. If the price goes up drastically on these things, for cheap cigars anyway, people will just start buying blunt wraps, which I'm sure don't have a new tax on them. Ah, the things I know that a middle aged politician wouldn't.


Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:57 pm
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Damn lazy stoners
Can't even roll their own blunts

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Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:17 pm
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Haakon wrote:
... swishers, I can say that there is one reason people would buy them, and it's not for the tobacco.

The cheap cigars are pretty commonly handed out at weddings and for "It's a Boy/Girl" announcements too.

Guess we'll have to make up some new, more-affordable "traditions".

Time for Tootsie Roll to step up to the plate with some custom pink/light-blue wrappers...


Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:12 pm
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just so you are aware that the Liberal SCHIP was audited recently and it was found that 92% of the people on the MN SCHIP are adults who are all working able. That is what is really sad. So they want to USE "children" into forcing us into their socialist ideal! I am so tired of being told I should be ashamed of what I have because I work and I should just give and give to the lazy f*ckers who want to suck us dry and the "public servants" who give themselves raises of $4400 every year and increase their own pensions. Public Servant my a**!!!!
Ok nuf politics because it makes my blood boil!


Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:02 pm
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Bush will veto this anyway.

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Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:52 am
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Rockula! wrote:
Funny how THE WAR can suck our economy dry but THE LIBERALS are taxing the little guy dry
Scaring people into compromise is exactly what the CONSERVATIVES are all about when it comes to giving away HALLF of your rights in the name of security
WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!?!?
That's the mantra of the conservative movement my friend
It's been that way since I was a children myself

Is this a joke?
Wow... Hot economy, deficite going down.... liberals like you need to get informed. You sound as dingy as Sheehan! :lol: Bush will veto this, cuz he hates the children. It will be back tho, cuz lawyers smell blood in the water.

btw-I may have a place to rent in Nov, still looking?


Last edited by 2fisted on Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:25 pm
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2fisted wrote:
Rockula! wrote:
Funny how THE WAR can suck our economy dry but THE LIBERALS are taxing the little guy dry
Scaring people into compromise is exactly what the CONSERVATIVES are all about when it comes to giving away HALLF of your rights in the name of security
WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!?!?
That's the mantra of the conservative movement my friend
It's been that way since I was a children myself

Is this a joke?
Wow... Hot economy, deficite going down.... liberals like you need to get informed. You sound as dingy as Sheehan! :lol: Bush will veto this, cuz he hates the children. It will be back tho, cuz layers smell blood in the water.

btw-I may have a place to rent in Nov, still looking?


Wow, you're getting denser by the day. Read something other than your crazy-guy "blogs".


Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:20 pm
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Don't you ever call me a fucking liberal again
You may as well call me a nigger

My point is that people like you only add to the divicive nature of politics
I am not sure how anyone with half a brain could defend the actions of the current administration
Obviously, conservatives will let you do anything to their country as long as you tow the line and arrogantly browbeat people who are trying to change things for the better
Unfortunately, the other side gets dominated by whiny ass sheep that have been told the same lies only with the exact opposite viewpoint
The people who really care about this country get stuck in the middle because they refuse to support an ideology simply because said ideology is inflexible and cannot function in a real world

That being said, I have pissed off a lot more liberals in my time than you ever have
Conservatives aren't as hard to piss off because all you have to do is threaten their sense of entitlement

The economy is hot?
For who?
The people that get a tax break in the upper 1% of the country?

Thanks for the offer on the rent
Hopefully, my situation renting from a liberal will work out once I can find a job in this town full of immigrants

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Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:22 pm
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Hate to burst your flame Rockula but sense of entitlement is what the Libs run on, not the Conservatives.
I should not have read this or got involved.
But my own opinion is this.
Dems want to tell me how to live my life, what is good for me or not, how to raise my children and take my money away from me to support to common "good". The Conservtives just try to pretend that they are for all those things by faking it and writing stupid bills they know will never pass like the School Voucher Program- a great idea that was purposfully never realized by those who authored it.
I am tired of it. It is my money, I work for it, I work damn hard for it, they are my kids and I brought them into this world and I will decide what is good for them, and it is my body and I can choose to be ignorant and abuse it if I want by smoking and going to bars where others smoke if that is what I CHOOSE!
FREEDOM is CHOICE.
The Conservatives have moved so far away from the old ideals of the true republican ways of old. I am a TRUE Republican. Small government, no welfare (private or corporate), funding to operate the government at the most essential levels only and the freedom to choose for myself what I want. I believe in a democracy and I believe in a capatalist society. It only works when those we elect allow it to work the way it is supposed to. We are out of control with laws and budgets. I don't think we can ever get it back until a full on revolution takes place. And then the winners will be the ones who are supposed to be the servants.
We are essentially f*cked.
Again just my opinion.
Oh and did any one mention that OSHA is going to ban ammunition from being sold at sporting good stores and gun shops because "it is hazardous to the health and well being of the employees" Next they will ban it from being made in the factories at all- what about those employees OSHA!? F*ckers! Another round about way to take our rights from us.


Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:07 pm
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OSHA retracted the proposal on ammunition reclassification. You can read some commentary on the SAAMI site here (http://www.saami.org/). It sounds like OSHA was trying to update some old explosives rules written in 1971 which previously included small arms ammunition.

Reading through the Federal Register proposal by OSHA, it looks like SAAMI and IME helped write the proposal, but OSHA screwed up the definition of explosive.


Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:44 pm
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heh heh, the thread title "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" has taken on a whole new meaning...

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Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:46 pm
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Yeah
I seem to remember republicans offering me a choice on all sorts of things like:
Billions of my tax dollars being given to "Faith based programs" (predominantly christian ones too)
Hundreds of billions of my tax dollars to finance the hostile corporate takeover of Iraq
My tax dollars financing erosion of my personal liberties
HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of my tax dollars financing the incredibly unpopular "war on drugs" (how are those alcahol sales doing?)
The outright and open sale of the country's basic services (FEMA anyone?) to corporations that think that saving a coastline is just not "cost effective" and doesn't show a clear chance for profit, therefore, not an option at this time
I do love that I have a choice of doctor to have (now if I could just afford health insurance)
The choice that they are giving our kids is great too
Choices like abstinence only education (wait a second, that's not a choice)
The choice to get back in the closet because you don't deserve to be treated like a human being
The choice to give money back to the richest 1% of the population through tax breaks (after all, they will spend that extra money on YOU, not on a 3rd Hummer to fill up that 5 car garage)

Oh yeah
You were talking about how conservatives moving away from what they used to be
Are you talking about that guy who gambled with our nation's financial and physical security so that he might bankrupt another country?
And he fucked over the poorest people in this country doing it?
Yeah
I have to laugh when people start yearning for the good old Regan years
Boy could we use him now
At least he wasn't as much of a moron as our current one

I will admit that the politically correct 90's are at fault for the average zero who is sucking from the tit of the welfare system but I am willing to bet you that the amount of money they take from my paycheck is a fraction of what is taken from my paycheck for corporate welfare
I also hate all of the whiny oversensitive people who use the new PC guidelines as a leveraging tool (I have been a victim more than once of PC blackmail)

Finally

Burst my flame?
What the fuck does that even mean?

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Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:11 am
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I said old republican not AN old Republican. I didn't mention Reagan.
You have to go back much much further than that to find my real party.
It died long ago, with our grandparents.
The republicans you speak of now should be ashamed of themselves for even calling their party that. They are not republicans they do not represent small government, personal responsibility and patriotism for their country. But I will give them credit for one thing, at least they don't go around talking about how horrible america is like the dems do. If they hate it so much and Europe is so great why don't they go there and make more room for all these illegals they love so much.

And burst your flame- you were all flamed up and it was a play on burst your bubble.


Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:52 am
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wasn't the national park system started by republicans?

oh, how the once-cool have fallen.

bears are awesome.

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Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:16 pm
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this thread needs safety helmets and short buses if it's gonna get any further...

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Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:43 pm
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Patriotism is disgusting.


Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:57 pm
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zom-zom wrote:
Patriotism is disgusting.


but bears are awesome.

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Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:24 pm
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thosquanta wrote:
zom-zom wrote:
Patriotism is disgusting.


but bears are awesome.


Agreed.


Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:31 pm
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Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:42 pm
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Trioxin245 wrote:
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I kill that most un-awesome bear ever.


Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:52 pm
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LeXi wrote:
I am tired of it. It is my money, I work for it, I work damn hard for it, they are my kids and I brought them into this world and I will decide what is good for them, and it is my body and I can choose to be ignorant and abuse it if I want by smoking and going to bars where others smoke if that is what I CHOOSE!
FREEDOM is CHOICE.


To be fair, republicans have, especially recently, been just as draconian with anti-smoking laws. You need look no farther than this state's governor.


Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:52 pm
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Take a closer look at this bill for the "children"?

Quote:
That same legislation would expand the definition of a "child" even further. Under the Clinton-Dingell legislation, states could offer Medicaid coverage for families who have "children" up to age 25. According to the Democrats' vision, those who are old enough to drive, vote, enter the military and drink alcohol are still in swaddling clothes when it comes to health insurance.

Strategically, it would seem that the Democrats are trying to achieve universal, government-run health insurance by making more and more Americans "children." The thinking seems to be that if government covers enough young adults and the children of enough people high up the income ladder, then eventually enough of the public will be supportive of extending such government insurance to everyone. Call it "socialized medicine on the installment plan."


Good God, this cigar tax bill is perfect for liberals! Babies from cradle to gave. :lol:

Quote:
Patriotism is disgusting.


Especialy when its the fake Patriotism from those peace niks who say "Support the troops, Bring them home" How phoney can one get!


Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:42 pm
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Haakon wrote:
To be fair, republicans have, especially recently, been just as draconian with anti-smoking laws. You need look no farther than this state's governor.


Kinda true, he said he would sign any bill that came to him that was anti smoking. But these laws are pushed by Dems & lawyers. My guess is that TPaw has no prob seeing the poor actualy pay some taxes. Why stop w/ cigars? Lets start a $1 tax on chips, Ice cream & pies!? Time to make the over weight PAY!


Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:48 pm
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2fisted wrote:
Take a closer look at this bill for the "children"?

.



Duhhhhh.... clowny dummy fisty gets more "information" from another crazy-guy right-wing putz site:


http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=11753


Ha ha ha. What a bunch of complaining, whining stupid babies you conservatives are.


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Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:06 pm
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2fisted wrote:
Especialy when its the fake Patriotism from those peace niks who say "Support the troops, Bring them home" How phoney can one get!


Yeah. You would much rather see our brave soldiers die horrible deaths for an empty conflict we should never have stuck our noses in to begin with. That turns you on.

How patriotic of you.


Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:38 am
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And here I just wanted to give a heads up to the folks who like a cigar with their glass of Scotch.

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Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:19 pm
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awesome implementation of the old Lucky Strikes slogan "I'd rather fight than switch." very nice.


Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:23 am
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If this had happened a decade earlier, we never would have had that whole Monica Lewinsky scandall

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Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:15 pm
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Rockula! wrote:
Funny how THE WAR can suck our economy dry but THE LIBERALS are taxing the little guy dry
Wake the fuck up


um... War has always been pretty good for our economy Rockula, the WARMONGER Liberal Democrats know this quite well in fact. But yes, liberals do like to tax the lil' guy (& gals!). It's a control issue... or lack of.


Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:30 pm
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LeXi wrote:
The Conservatives have moved so far away from the old ideals of the true republican ways of old. I am a TRUE Republican. .


Me too!
I'd say most "true Goths" are! Unlike "Poesers" like zom - zom. 8) :P

I wont argue that Republicans have changed, but look at the Dems of old. Kennedy cut taxes & was ready to nuke Russia to fight communism. They would fight for Americas freedoms... now they just want to cut & run. :cry:


Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:41 pm
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we USED to be free from iraqis killing us.


til we, you know, invaded.

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Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:07 pm
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[quote="2fisted I wont argue that Republicans have changed, but look at the Dems of old. Kennedy cut taxes & was ready to nuke Russia to fight communism. They would fight for Americas freedoms... now they just want to cut & run. :cry:[/quote]

The biggest diference between the commies and the terrorists is that he commies were imperialists just like us
The terrorists just want us to leave them the fuck alone
9-11 was not an attack
It was a defensive action

Oh
And Lexi
You mean old style republicans like Nixon?

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Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:58 pm
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Rockula! wrote:
The biggest diference between the commies and the terrorists is that he commies were imperialists just like us
The terrorists just want us to leave them the fuck alone
9-11 was not an attack
It was a defensive action


I'm gonna have to call bullsh*t on all of that.

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Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:16 pm
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Rockula! wrote:
The terrorists just want us to leave them the fuck alone
9-11 was not an attack
It was a defensive action

Where have I heard the extermination of the jews as a "defensive action" before? hmmmm...


Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:57 am
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That's not what I'm talking about and the Jews are a completely different tangent (although they are involved)
When they hit the world trade center, they hit the capital of capitalism
They see our culture infiltrating theirs and corrupting it
They see these actions as defensive
If we had just kept our fucking noses out of their business we would never have the mess we have right now
However, ever since we saved the world, we have made it our business to keep it the way WE wanted it
When military strength was no longer enough to keep little Hitlers in line, we just bought up their country's infrastructure
These people are in the dark ages
Why is it our job to enlighten them?

Terrorism is not the cause
It is the result

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Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:35 am
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Might I suggest moving this discourse to a separate thread?
(Perhaps titled something relatively humorous such as "Planet Terror")
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