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156% tax hike on shisha in the US?

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  #1  
Old August 5th, 2007, 03:29 PM
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Default 156% tax hike on shisha in the US?

EEEEEEEEEEEEeeeekkkk....

Looks like they might hike pipe tobacco and shag... dont think they will forget about us either.... they wont miss a chance to tax a tobacco product, especially if they are upping the taxes of cigarette papers and tubes as well.

One vendor has already voiced concern on the matter.

see General Yada Yada for a related article.

NATO: Hike in federal tobacco tax would be unfair


Monday, July 30, 2007

A proposed increase in the federal tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products is unfair, said the National Association of Tobacco Outlets in letters to U.S. senators and representatives.

Below is a copy of a July 27 letter that the association’s director, Thomas A. Briant, sent to Senators (a similar letter was sent to members of the U.S. House of Representatives):

An inherent characteristic of any tax is that the rate of the levy should be fair. As you review legislation to reauthorize and expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), we ask that you give careful consideration to the unfairness of the proposed tax increases on cigars, pipe tobacco, smokeless tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and cigarettes.

While Congress has the constitutionally granted power to tax, the proposed tax rates on tobacco products passed by the Senate Finance Committee are clearly a case of over taxation. Moreover, many retail tobacco store owners that are members of NATO have questioned whether these proposed rates constitute an abuse of the taxing power. To be clear, NATO does not oppose the reauthorization of the SCHIP program. Rather, our concern lies with the overzealous tax increases being proposed on tobacco products to fund the SCHIP program.

When the proposed tax rates are examined from a percent increase point of view, you can begin to understand why adults who use legal tobacco products are angered and outraged by these excessive and punitive tax rates. For example, current federal law taxes a large cigar at a rate of 20.719% of the manufacturer’s price with a maximum tax or “cap” of 4.875¢ per cigar. The Senate SCHIP reauthorization plan would increase the rate on large cigars to 53.13% of the manufacturer’s price and raise the cap to $10.00 per cigar.

By raising the cap to $10.00, the maximum tax on a cigar would be 20,000% higher than the current tax on a cigar. This 20,000% percent increase in the cigar tax would equate to the federal excise tax on a twelve ounce can of beer increasing from the existing five cents a can to $10.00 per can or $60.00 on a six pack.

The astronomical percentage increases in the tax rates do not stop with cigars. In terms of cigarettes, the proposed tax would increase by $.61/pack from the current $.39/pack to $1.00/pack, a 156% increase. Likewise, the tax rates on pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco and cigarette papers and tubes will rise by 156% while the tax rate on little cigars will increase by 2,400% and the excise tax on roll-your-own tobacco will rise by 713%. The magnitude of these tax rate increases is unconscionable and has sparked outrage among citizens and retailers alike. In the history of the United States, has there ever been such an enormous tax increase on a single product?

While it may be politically popular to target tobacco products with such huge tax increases, fairness and responsible use of the taxing power need to be a part of the debate. Since public testimony was not allowed during the Senate Finance Committee’s mark up hearing on the SCHIP reauthorization bill, the voices of adult tobacco consumers and the retailers that own tobacco stores need to be heard through phone calls, e-mails and letters. NATO is a voice for tobacco stores and the more than 45 million adult consumers who smoke or use tobacco products and we are writing to you again to urge restraint and common sense regarding the funding of a SCHIP expansion.

These tax increases are not about “Big Tobacco”. Rather, the taxing power is being used to influence personal adult behavior. This “social engineering” through taxation is not good public policy. If any tax increase is enacted into law, it will ultimately be passed onto the consumer. The consequences of these tax increases, whether intentional or not, will put family-owned retail stores out of business, employees will lose their jobs and the black market for tobacco products will flourish at these exorbitant tax rates. Moreover, the personal safety of innocent store employees will be jeopardized because the higher cost of tobacco products will surely generate more robberies and thefts.

To add insult to injury, the Senate bill contains a floor stocks tax provision requiring wholesalers and retailers to pay the difference between the current and higher tax rates on all of the tobacco products they have in inventory on January 1, 2008. The amount that retailers would owe for a floor stocks tax would be simply too much for many independent store owners to afford and they would be forced to close their doors.

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall once said, “The power to tax is the power to destroy”. The proposed tax increases of more than 156% and upwards of 20,000% are destined to destroy the freedom of Americans to enjoy legal tobacco products and the right of Americans to earn a living by operating family-owned retail stores.

We urge you to find an alternative funding source for the expansion of the SCHIP program and avoid the destructive outcome of enacting unjust and punitive tobacco taxes.

Sincerely yours,


Thomas A. Briant
NATO Executive Director



Source: National Association of Tobacco Outlets
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  #2  
Old August 5th, 2007, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: 156% tax hike on shisha in the US?

I have always thought that the taxes on tobacco were crazy. If you buy a pack of cigarettes from a brick and mortar business you are taxed 3 times. First you are taxed for your income, secondly you are taxed a state tax per pack or per carton, then to top it off you are charged a sales tax. The sales tax is the messed up part, because you are charged sales tax on the total cost of the pack or carton. So you are taxed on a tax! Glad I quite smoking cigarettes.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: 156% tax hike on shisha in the US?

jezzz.. That's ridiculus! I hope this doesn't happen, but since all the WHO people and the people against it, want to keep increasing the taxes so they will get people to quit.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: 156% tax hike on shisha in the US?

The constant attempts by the government in this country to force people away from minor, personal "vices" is just another indication of how freedom is something that Americans brag about rather then experience. In just about any third world country (save Saudi Arabia) I have been too people leave you alone to enjoy smoking and all the other little pleasures that don't disrupt society. I have really gotten to hate the endless sermonizing about eco stuff, diet and tobacco and it makes me sick to listen to clueless, scientifically ignorant would be commissars make demands upon everyone else while taxing/regulating/banning everything they object to. If the taxes on tobacco get to onerous i'll have no problem with buying it illegally and doing everything possible to prevent anyone from taking the joy of tobacco from me.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: 156% tax hike on shisha in the US?

the reason for the retarded tax hikes is directly related to lobbyists, health care and that jazz. If you're not smoking, you "statistically" cost less money for insurance companies. The only thing they don't take into account is that cigars and other tobacco products are not ciggs.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 02:12 AM
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Default Re: 156% tax hike on shisha in the US?

They also don't take into account how even cigarettes are smoked which matters a lot , nor do they bother with the fact that tobacco consumption and the various health aliments we hear so much about very drastically across the globe which says a lot to anyone honest enough to notice. Basically, the statistics about smoking and health are so biased and poorly constructed that they show far less then we are led to believe.

Even if tobacco consumption is 100% as bad we are told the fact is that lowered life expectancy of cigarette smokers combined with the insanely high taxes we already pay mean that we pay for the health care of non-smokers in a net sense. Read the book for "your own good" by Sullum if your interested in this sort of issue.

In any case, plenty of behaviors have far worse public health outcomes then smoking yet such behaviors are not taxed at all. I speak of the horrendous American diet, lethargy, homosexual activity and a wide range of pollution.

Still, facts simply don't matter when dealing with the new commissars and as a result I see no reason why anyone should cave into petty despotism.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: 156% tax hike on shisha in the US?

In his case....its all a "lefty" tax and spend ploy.

The trouble is that the numbers dont add up with the plan. One of these articles explained that with the new tax imposed...... we would need 22 million more smokers than there are right now to come up with the funds that the leftwing dreamers are trying to milk from tobacco.

The other terrible thing is that children will have free health care under the plan........ even if the parents can afford the health insurance. The qualification cap is at $80,000 per year income. IF you can make $80k a year.... then your employer is going to have a good insurance plan for your family at a good rate...... or at the very least you can afford to purchase a plan for your child.

If you are going to do that sort of thing, we need to limit to ONLY those kids whose families are working jobs where plans are unavailable or the income is too low to afford a health care plan.

Its just a slow march to socialized medicine.

Seems like every time something needs to be banned, taxed or restricted....... it is "for the sake of the children".
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  #8  
Old August 16th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: 156% tax hike on shisha in the US?

The funny thing is that American health care is actually very expensive compared to other industrialized nations while being far worse then what other developed nations offer. I'm no fan of social democratic welfare states for numerous reasons yet most of them do far better at providing better care for less money. What Americans have is the avarice and crass materialism that is the hallmark of plutocratic capitalism and the onerous nanny state oppression that Europeans suffer with but without the benefits of the latter.

In the end, it seems to me that the whole anti-tobacco thing is just part of a larger effort to enact social control.
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