Albany, NY (PRWEB) April 5, 2009
Some $13 billion in new taxes and fees fill the proposed $132 billion New York State budget already passed by the Assembly and currently under consideration by the Senate. Included in the 3,000 pages of legislation are increased taxes on non-cigarette tobacco products which the 2,000-member International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association warns could result in economic devastation to its 74 in-state members and job losses among their more than 600 employees.
"Our membership includes thousands of tobacconists and manufacturers of premium cigars. Virtually all of them are small business owners whose enterprises will be devastated by these new taxes. That means businesses will close and jobs will be lost. In addition, the state and federal governments will not get the revenues they hoped for and they will lose revenue from sales and income taxes," said Chris McCalla, IPCPR's legislative director.
New federal excise taxes are adding up to $10 per carton of cigarettes and up to 2,500 percent increases in taxes on other tobacco products including up to 40 cents per premium cigar. Among the new tobacco taxes included in the proposed New York State budget are an additional 50 cents per premium cigar while other non-cigarette tobacco taxes would increase from 37 percent to 46 percent.
Many disgruntled legislators claim the controversial state budget proposal with its increased tobacco taxes was created behind closed doors by Gov. David A. Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith which has contributed to the weeks-long budget battle.
McCalla explained that the only businesses that would benefit from the increased state tobacco excise taxes would be out-of-state mail-order tobacco companies and tobacco bootleggers.
"The result will be a significant loss of sales and excise tax revenues to the state, job losses and the closing of businesses across the state. Is this what New York needs today?" McCalla asked.
"Government should not be taxing out of business those businesses that have every right to exist and upon which the livelihood of Americans depend. What other businesses and products have survived after absorbing such exorbitant tax increases? None. These tax increases will end up destroying jobs, families and communities," said McCalla.
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