PA Cigar Tax Defeated: Victory, or Stay of Execution?

Cigar retailers and smokers across Pennsylvania breathed a collective sigh of relief today as Governor Rendell signed into law a budget containing no new taxes on cigars. Call me a pessimist, but I’m still worried about future budgets.

“I can’t believe they left this money on the table and they’d rather see people laid off from their jobs than to tax these products,” opined Deborah P. Brown of the American Lung Association.

They (legislators) didn’t leave money on the table, Deborah, because it was never there to begin with. What they did was refuse to cower in the face the populist opinion your organization has worked so hard to cultivate.

They voted against increasing an already-bloated budget on the backs of hardworking Pennsylvanians and business owners.

They refused to let 4 of the nation’s 8 major tobacconists (and hundreds more brick & mortar shops) be put out of business by pseudo-scientists looking to further their OWN agenda and budget.

They voted not to further tax the enjoyment of a LEGAL PRODUCT.

Proponents of this tax infuriate me, and they should infuriate you, too. This year it was cigars. Next year it could be something you like even more. Where and when does it end?

Supplemental Reading:

The Critical Differences – Premium Cigars vs. Cigarettes

Second Hand Smoke and Health