How Rendell’s Cigar Tax Will Hurt Pennsylvania Businesses
For the second year in a row, Gov. Rendell has proposed a tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco, assuming this will have no impact on jobs or the economy. (As I pointed out last year, Rendell’s logic seems to be that taxes on businesses only hurt the economy when they are imposed on his friends, like Hollywood filmakers).
The blog “Stogie Guys” points out that online cigar retailers, which have set up shop in Pennsylvania, may choose to move.
A disproportionate number of online cigar wholesalers call Pennsylvania home, including Famous Smoke Shop, Cigars International, and Holt’s. This isn’t a coincidence. Along with Florida, the Keystone State is the only one without a cigar tax. But Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (pictured) recently proposed a budget that includes new excise taxes on cigars and smokeless tobacco. When a similar tax was proposed last year, Keith Meier, CEO of Cigars International, said his $90 million company with 150 employees might “swim to sunnier shores, such as Florida” if adopted.