New York State has been know for many things – the entry point into America for many immigrants, New York City, The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Wall Street, West Point Military Academy, the New York Yankees, the World Trade Center (and the subsequent 9/11 bombings), et'cetera. Now, New York is know for something else...
... the HIGHEST tobacco taxes in the United States!
Yes, New York will now have the honor of having THE most expensive smokes in all the 50 States! Governor Paterson and his merry bunch of miscreants in our State's capital of Albany, have raised the tobacco taxes to astronomical proportions. I believe it's something like 90% for cigarettes and up to 75% on cigars and other natural tobacco products. PLUS, they're now slamming tobacconists who sell to Indian Reservations in New York as well – something that had always been either very low or non-existent.
Now, don't get me wrong. Smoking is bad for you and I could care less about cigarettes – meaning those light-weight, paper-wrapped, chemically-altered, nicotine-intoxicated, cancer-sticks that has everything from deadly chemicals to fiberglass in them. However, the natural tobacco of cigars and pipes are untreated, unaltered and provide (in my opinion) a much more enjoyable smoke than anything those nasty cigarette companies could ever produce!
However, the new tax will make it about $10 for a pack of cigarettes, and cigars retailing for $5.99 or $9.99, will soon be in the range of $12.50 to over $20.00 PER CIGAR!! And those will be the CHEAP ones! Oh, and they're now lumping the cigarillos (miniature cigars) in with cigarettes so that cigarillos will be HIGHER than full-size cigars!! Many small retailers that sell cigarettes have stated that these new taxes will put them out of business because many smokers will opt to either buy less or buy elsewhere (meaning one of the neighboring states like New Jersey, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania). It may get a few people to quit, but the numbers don't justify the money (IMHO). My local tobacconist had stated that these new taxes will finally finish him off. Already hit with low sales due to the poor economy, having to charge more for cigars that are not selling at the prices now will detract customers even further which will inevitably put him out of business – probably before this year ends! I'm sure there will be many other places that will either go under, or have to cut back – which means more layoffs!
NOW, our dear mental-maniacs running the asylum that is our State's representative's building in Albany – who haven't been able to pass a State budget on time since taking office!! - have had yet another epiphany to help them close their own budget deficit: raise taxes on clothing!! For many years, New York State hasn't taxed clothing under $100.00 – to save the pocketbooks of the lower-class and working poor. Well, that bit of “charity” has gone out the window now! Now you'll have to pay sales tax on ANY piece of clothing – no matter how cheap it is!! Same scenario – small “Mom-&-Pop” retailers will go under and larger stores will lay off employees to balance their own budgets – even MORE unemployed added to the high levels!!
Anyone who knows me or knows this blog knows that I am quite the liberal. However, I'M now starting to side with the TEA Party people – y'know: Taxed Enough Already?! We here in New York have been screaming “uncle” for a while now, but Albany and the local governments (ie – County, Town and Village) haven't heard our screams of pain yet. Well, they will come election day! Even THIS liberal-layman is going to look for a TEA Party-er to vote for come next election! I've had enough of these taxes and the cost of living here in New York! It's out of hand and it needs to stop NOW!!