In 2010 the state of New York delivered a wallet crushing blow to cigar smokers with an “other” tobacco tax increase to 75%. This wound up being a compromise as the Governor of the state originally called for 90%. The state was led to believe the new tax would raise millions and millions of dollars more, despite critics telling them the measure would be revenue negative. The implementation of the tax increase forced people to shop for cigars out of state, where the taxes were lower.
As we rang in 2011 the state had a new Governor to lead the way, one who understands how reduced taxes and caps means more revenue when it comes to cigars. Thankfully due to the charge led by the Cigar Rights of America and the New York Tobacconist Association other members of the state legislature see the light. There are currently two proposals floating around, Assemblywoman Michelle Shimel and Assemblyman Michael DenDekker are sponsoring bill A01093, while state Senators Martin Golden and Tom Libous are sponsoring SB 3410, both of which aim to implement a $1 tax cap on cigars sold in New York.
Information on the first bill can be found on the New York State Assembly website.
Information on the second bill can be gound on the New York State Assembly website as well.
What does this mean for the average cigar smoker. In a state with no tobacco tax, a cigar would cost $8.00. In New York that same cigar is currently $11.00. Under the new proposals the price would be $9.00 per stick. On more expensive sticks, the savings would be even greater.