The Florida Cigar industry is afraid that a new state tax will sink the industry.
Moments before the Senate Ways and Means Committee voted on the Senate budget, which includes $86 million in cigar taxes, including $71 million for a $1 per ounce surcharge on large, or premium, cigars, Sen. Rudy Garcia made this plea.
“This will be devastating to the industry,” said Garcia, a Hialeah Republican. “Most companies will move their operations to another state that does not have the cigar tax or have minimal taxes.”
He predicted that if Florida imposes the tax, 10,000 cigar rollers will lose their jobs. “This section of the bill will generate $70 million,” he said,”but how many jobs will we be losing?”
Gov. Charlie Crist has already indicated similar opposition to the tax.