Tobacco Manufacturers, Wholesalers, Retailers, Their Employees & Customers Must Call Their U.S. Senators and President-Elect Obama!
Today, the 2009 legislation to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was released by the U.S. House of Representatives. The proposed tax increases on tobacco products have changed somewhat as shown in the chart below. Several changes to the tax increases include a $.40 cap per large cigar and the roll-your-own tobacco tax increasing from $1.0969 per pound to $24.62 per pound! The 2007 version of the SCHIP bill had roll-your-own tobacco being taxed at a new rate of $8.9286 per pound.
If passed, the bill becomes effective April 1, 2009 and assesses a floor stocks tax on all manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers for the tobacco products (except large cigars) in inventory on April 1, 2009 with the floor stocks payable by August 1, 2009.
Action Needed: Call U.S. Senators & President-Elect Obama!
Every tobacco manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, their employees and customers need to call their two U.S. Senators from their state and urge them to oppose the tax increases to fund SCHIP. A list of U.S. Senators by state accompanies this bulletin. Leave a message with each senator’s staff that the SCHIP tax increases will result in large sales declines, employees being laid off and bankrupt retailers and wholesalers due to the floor stocks tax.
Nationwide, up to 117,000 American industry jobs will be lost.
Here's a link to the list of U.S. Senators' telephone numbers
Call President-Elect Obama’s Transition Office at 202-540-3000
When calling, listen to the message and Press 2 to speak to a live person. Tell the staff person that President-Elect Obama needs to be a man of his word and keep his campaign promise not to raise taxes on any American making under $250,000 a year and that this includes not raising cigarette and tobacco taxes to fund SCHIP. Do not allow the staff person to refer to you President-Elect Obama’s website to e-mail your message. Tell the staff person that the SCHIP bill will raise taxes on 43 million Americans who buy tobacco products and President-Elect Obama needs to find a different way to fund the SCHIP program.
Consequences For Retailers Would Be Significant
If Congress passes the bill to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by significantly increasing the federal cigarette and tobacco taxes, the fallout from this expansion of government subsidized health care will likely include major cigarette and tobacco sales reductions, large increases in the number of store robberies because the value of tobacco products would be so high, a floor stocks tax on cigarette and tobacco inventory adding up to an estimated $5,000 per store, employee layoffs and even store closings.
The SCHIP program is a top priority for Democrats and may result in the single largest tax increase on one industry’s products in the history of the country. With President-Elect Obama a supporter of SCHIP, the possibility of a tobacco tax increase to fund the expansion looms large even though Obama made campaign promises not to increase taxes on any one who earns less than $250,000. The 2007 SCHIP bills proposed the following increases in the federal tobacco excise tax rates.
Philip Morris Launches Website to Combat Federal Cigarette Tax Increase
In the effort assist wholesalers, retailers and their adult customers contact their U.S. Representatives to oppose future increases in the federal cigarette tax increase, Philip Morris USA has created the www.stopthefetincrease.com
Under the banner theme of “No Means No” to federal cigarette tax increases, the Philip Morris website allows wholesalers, retailers and their adult customers to fill in their name and address information and easily send an e-mail message to their specific U.S. Representative urging the elected official to oppose federal cigarette tax increases. Also, the website provides a toll-free number to be called so that the caller can be connected to their U.S. Representative’s office. To visit the Philip Morris website, click on the link below: Click on the link below to visit www.stopthefetincrease.com