Update on Recent Legislation Affecting Premium Cigars
Cigar Rights of America (CRA) has posted interesting legislative news on activity on state tobacco bills that pertain to the brothers & sisters of the leaf. The below are newly introduced state cigar-related bills that will require us to take action by contacting members of our respective state legislature. Each bill described below will contain a link to the CRA Legislative Action Center, where you may find all resources on how to communicate electronically with your elected officials regarding that specific piece of legislation...enabling you to TAKE ACTION!
Iowa: Senate File 249 ("SF 249") has been introduced in the state senate and seeks to roll back the exemption on indoor smoking in casinos in the state. To sign the petition AGAINST SF 249, click here.
Indiana: Two bills have been introduced that would negatively affect premium cigar patrons.
House Bill 1381 ("HB 1381"), would remove all exemptions to the state indoor smoking ban, including tobacco and specialty cigar shops. To sign the petition AGAINST HB 1381, click here.
Senate Bill 23 ("SB 23") by Indiana State Senator Liz Brown symbolizes the nanny-state as few do. This legislation is an attempt at social engineering using the legislative process, to pander to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, who is backing this bill. Having the government enact a law that would allow an employer to hire and fire employees, because they may happen to enjoy a cigar or other legal tobacco product, is as bad as using taxation or smoking bans to strip away personal freedoms and property rights. To sign the petition AGAINST SB 23, click here.
Nebraska: Two bills have been introduced that affect premium cigars.
Legislative Bill 1087 ("LB 1087") would implement a $0.50 tax cap on premium cigars in the state. Currently the rate of taxation is 20%. To sign the petition in SUPPORT of LB 1087, click here.
Legislative Bill 1117, ("LB 1117") would do the opposite of LB 1087. LB 1117 calls for a direct increase in the rate of taxation going from 20% to 45% of the wholesale cost of each cigar. To sign the petition AGAINST to LB 1117, click here.
New Jersey: Assembly Bill 1579 ("A. 1579") calls for an increase in the premium cigar tax by adding a $2.70 flat rate per cigar as well as implementing restrictive and costly retail requirements in order to do business. To sign the petition AGAINST A. 1579, click here.
New Mexico: Once again a bill has been introduced in the state senate that would dramatically increase the tax on premium cigars. Senate Bill 25 ("SB 25") would increase the rate from it's current 25% to 76% of the wholesale cost. To sign the petition AGAINST SB 25, click here.
Virginia: Two bills have been introduced, one in each chamber of the legislature affecting premium cigars.
House Bill 1541 ("HB 1541"), is a pro-premium cigar bill that would create a new limited mixed beverage license for premium cigar retail shops in the Commonwealth. To sign the petition in SUPPORT of HB 1541, click here.
Senate Bill ("SB 390") calls for a increase in the rate of taxation. As written, SB 390 would increase the tax rate from 10% to 23% of the manufacturer's sales price. To sign the petition AGAINST SB 390, click here.