Proposal to Tax Pipe Tobacco at RYO Rates

22nd January, 2010: Posted by glpease in Pipe & Tobacco News

[This was originally published over at the excellent No More Tobacco Taxes blogsite, and is reproduced here with permission of the author. We are a small group, but we need to spread the word, and more importantly, we need to act. Write your representatives to protest this proposed bill. -glp]

HR 4439, the Tobacco Tax Parity Act of 2010 was introduced on January 13, 2010 and would tax pipe tobacco at the same insane rate ($24.78 per pound) as roll-your-own tobacco from the current $2.8311 per pound. Introduced by Representatives Steve Cohen (Dem., TN) and Lloyd Doggett (Dem., TX), it has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee of which Mr. Doggett, a staunch anti-smoking advocate, is a member.

This bill is not really aimed at pipe smokers as that segment of the population (estimated at .01% of US adults) is so small that the additional revenue generated by PIPE SMOKERS wouldn’t cover the cost of pursuing this change. nothing more than an attempt to rope in taxes from roll-your-own cigarette enthusiasts who having been stung by this same price increase in their addiction last spring (thank you SCHIPs) have decided to start rolling pipe tobacco because it is suddenly cheaper real RYO tobacco (if you can call that stuff tobacco really).

Unfortunately, the RYO industry has brought this on to a certain extent because many brands/bags of RYO tobacco have been relabeled as pipe tobacco for taxation purposes. You can tell by looking at the type and the cut of the tobacco that no right-thinking brother of the briar would even consider sticking this trash in their pipe but the manufacturers have proudly changed their RYO packaging to crow that what they are selling is now pipe tobacco and should be taxed at a much lower rate.

Well now, those few of us that truly enjoy a pipe, whether meerschaum, briar or even the old American favorite corncob pipe are going to have to pay through the nose because of RYO smokers trying to inexpensively fuel their addictions AND the greed of corporate RYO tobacco producers.

However, all is not lost.

Contact your local representatives and put pressure on them to stop this bill. If we don’t stop this now, it could spell the end of a tradition here in the US: the considered pursuit of the perfect smoke by brothers (and sisters) of the pipe as well as the end of the traditional Tobacconist as we know it.

SPEAK UP NOW AND SPEAK UP LOUDLY!

[The original article can be found here.]