Up in Smoke: Proposed Cigar Tax Hike Sparks Controversy in New York

Up in Smoke: Proposed Cigar Tax Hike Sparks Controversy in New York

Why Cigar Lovers Are Fuming Over Assembly Bill A10016

Photo by Mohd Jon Ramlan on Unsplash

Cigar enthusiasts across New York State are fuming as Assembly Bill A10016, proposed in April 2022, threatens to light up the debate over taxes and personal choice. The bill aims to increase the tax on cigars from the current highest-in-the-nation 75% to an all-time high of 95%. In response to this, critics like Joe Gelormino have ignited a passionate discussion, questioning the government's priorities in targeting cigars instead of other, arguably more pressing issues.

Gelormino, an outspoken cigar aficionado and defense attorney, expressed his outrage during a recent appearance on "Tucker Carlson Tonight." He wondered aloud why legislators were focusing their attention on cigars when other items, such as marijuana, currently carry a significantly lower tax rate of 13%.

"It seems like the government will not be happy unless they have us all eating kale, drinking carrot juice, and smoking weed," Gelormino exclaimed. "They're not happy with a nice, good cigar. I mean, to tax something at 95% is absurd. They want to tax it into extinction," he added, clearly frustrated by the proposed legislation.

Gelormino's concern extended beyond the impact on cigar lovers; he argued that the people who would suffer the most from this proposed tax increase are the small, independent cigar shop owners. "That's who gets hurt here. Not the wealthy individuals. Because you know where they're buying their cigars? On the illegal market," Gelormino explained. "The Cubans on the illegal market. They get the full boxes, and they're not taxed. But the average Joe who wants to enjoy a nice cigar on his porch at night with a glass of red wine or a martini, he's the one that's getting hurt."

Tucker Carlson, the host of the show, also voiced his concerns about the proposed tax hike, highlighting that there's no apparent public health crisis associated with cigar smoking. He posed the question, "What's going on here?"

Gelormino acknowledged the confusion surrounding the tax, stating, "I don't know. I can't explain it. All I can explain to you is that everything we seem to enjoy, whether it's a glass of red wine, a drink, or a nice cigar, they're going to tax."

But the conversation didn't stop at cigars. Gelormino pointed out an alarming trend, predicting what might come next. "You know what's coming next, Tucker? I brought a prop. You know what's coming next? Because the elites at Davos have already warned us about this. Red meat, our big, juicy steaks. That's what they're going to be taxing next. It's coming, Tucker, because we enjoy that."

In conclusion, the proposed cigar tax hike in New York State has ignited a passionate debate, leaving many cigar lovers and small business owners in the industry concerned about the impact of the proposed legislation. While the rationale behind such a dramatic tax increase remains unclear, it's apparent that personal choices and cherished traditions are at stake, raising questions about the priorities of state legislators.

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