• Ben Balliro

Tax Breaks for Cigar Lovers

An article was released in the Denver Post on Feb 28th this year which headlined "Permanent Tax Breaks for tobacco retailers with help from cigar-loving lawmakers". Long name I know, but the article relates to Senate President Kevin Grantham and bill sponser Senator Angela Williams in their efforts to give a tax break to cigar retailers in that area.

In the article it introduces Senate Bill 139 which would allow companies that sell cigars and some tobacco products to claim a refund of the state’s 40 percent excise tax when making out of state sales. One cigar retailer Capitol Cigars, owned by David Engleberg, was used as an example of the tax break for the article. Surprisingly the bill passed the Senate with an "overwhelming approval" in order to substantiate the tax breaks. The argument by legislation is to cut back on double taxation on the business owners because retailers already pay state taxes where the products are sold.

You can can read the full article in the link below.

Another article comes to us by way of Channel 5 news in St. Paul MN. In this article it mentions slashing taxes on premium cigars by up to 85%, from $3.50 to just $.50. That is a huge tax benefit to local cigar shops in MN granted by the Minnesota House Commitee. Prior to the tax break Derrick Smigiel of Churchills Quality Cigars and Gifts told the House Committee, "We are struggling to stay in business due to the outrageous tax structure that we have on premium cigars." Given the recent regulations and restrictions from our beloved FDA, this price reduction could be the very break cigar retailers need to stay in business and offer premium products to local consumers.

The original tax hike for MN that went into effect 2013 has seen record low smoking citizens in the state. The tax hike has had an arguably positive effect on the health and safety of its citizens in reducing the number of cigarette smokers. Then again, like most government agencies, politicians still do not discriminate between cigarettes, vaping, and premium cigars. So in my opinion it's a somewhat hollow victory, but a victory nonetheless. You can read the full article listed below.

You can read the full article in the link below.

Still all things considered I would grant these two news articles a positive step in the right direction. Any progress on the forefront of cigar loving freedoms is always a welcome relief from the tyranny of smoke nazis and government administration.

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