For those who have not heard about this yet.
The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a markup on Tuesday, July 17 on legislation dealing with the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The measure is expected to be reported out of committee. Funding would be almost totally via higher taxes on tobacco products. The cigarette tax will increase by $.61 to $1 per pack effective after December 31, 2007. Other tobacco products would be taxed as follows: large cigars — 53.13% of mfr’s or importer’s sales price but not more than $10.00 per cigar.
This could potentially kill the cigar industry. PLEASE get involved and call or write your senator and let them know that you do NOT support this. Check out this post by Lew Rothman of JrCigar.com.
07/19/07 Update: The senate committe PASSED this bill. Now all hope is NOT lost. It has to go to the Senate and the President has stated that he WILL VETO this bill. Continute to CALL your senators and let them know you oppose this bill. Lets keep this stupid bill from passing. If it passes the Senate, hopefully the President will keep his word and veto the bill. We will keep you posted.
07/26/07 Update: The house is going to propose an amended bill. This would change the tax rate to 44.63 percent. The biggest change would be the cap. It would go from the .05 it is today to $1.00. That is still a big increase, but not as bad as the $10.00 cap.