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An Important Message to Cigar Enthusiasts About Proposition 29

Cigar Rights of America

Did you know that Proposition 29, a measure that will increase cigar and pipe tobacco taxes by 73%, is coming up for a vote in California on June 5? If Prop 29 passes, you will pay MUCH more for your cigars and pipe tobacco. These products are already very highly taxed in California, at a rate of 31.73%, and will go up to 54.89% if Prop 29 passes.

A Public Referendum in California on Raising the Tax on Cigars, Proposition 29 Must be Defeated! CRA is preparing to galvanize the cigar enthusiasts of California, as a broad-based coalition assembles to fight yet another tax increase on cigars.

It’s called Proposition 29. With that unique system of government that basically says the California legislature can’t make important decisions, so let’s toss all significant issues to a statewide public vote, everyone passionate for a great cigar, at a fair price, has a vested interest in the defeat of Proposition 29. Enough signatures were recently certified to put the “California Tobacco Tax for Cancer Research Act” on the ballot for a June 5, 2012 vote. It will determine the fate of a nearly $1 billion tax increase, due to a new $1 per pack tax on cigarettes. In California , the OTP tax on cigars is linked to the tax on cigarettes, with the increase triggering a tax increase on cigars from the current rate of 31.73% of wholesale cost, to a new OTP rate on cigars of 54.89% of wholesale cost.

The traditional coalition of health care non-profits have organized themselves in support of Proposition 29, but they have now been joined by cyclist Lance Armstrong and a $1.5 million grant from his foundation. CRA is proud to stand with organizations such as Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, California Licensed Beverage Association, California Retailers Association, California Chamber of Commerce, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, California Taxpayers Association, FreedomWorks, and over 75 other organizations and hundreds of small businesses in opposition to Proposition 29.

CRA will have a dedicated section on www.CigarRights.org with news and information on how you can help fight this tax increase on cigars for a new program, that can’t be managed, that will only be a source of pork barrel money for those that want nothing short of tobacco prohibition, and that means for cigars, as well. CRA will be working with IPCPR, California Association of Retail Tobacconists, the ‘California Citizens Against Wasteful Taxes, No on Prop. 29′ organization along with other industry allies on this campaign, given the national implications for states across the nation.

TAKE ACTION: Help Exempt Premium Cigars From FDA Regulation!

H.R. 1639 / S. 1461 – Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act

Did you know that on April 26, 2010, December 20, 2010, and July 7, 2011 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration publicly posted their intent to regulate cigars in the Federal Register? Some of the measures FDA could consider, as we believe they are, include:

  • Ban on walk-in humidors, self serve cigar displays, and mail-order cigar sales;
  • Ban on all flavored cigars, that are enjoyed by legal-age adults;
  • Deface ornate, decorative cigar boxes, often considered an art form with grotesque images;
  • Ban on cigar events where free cigars (samples) could be available to legal-age adults;
  • Limits on cigar marketing and advertising;
  • Imposition of new ‘user fees’ [tax] on cigars, to finance regulations;
  • Limits on special release and small-batch cigars, due to mandates that cigar blends be submitted to FDA for pre-approval before release;
  • Limits on nicotine levels on cigars to near zero, severely impacting the flavor of cigars;
  • Ban on marketing cigar merchandise.

We urge you to easily take action now by clicking here: CRA Needs Your Help!

In order to be successful in our fight to enjoy cigars without the threat of smoking bans and high taxation, CRA needs your help. Please consider partnering with CRA through two important methods:

  • Membership – There is strength in numbers! The more members CRA has, the greater voice we have at all levels of legislature. Please help CRA by asking your fellow cigar enthusiasts to join CRA today! Membership starts as low as $35/year.
  • Donate – Our fight around the country is very expensive. We would like to ask all CRA members and cigar enthusiasts to consider making a donation to CRA in any amount you choose.

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