Miami Cigar Manufacturers Brace for SCHIP
President Obama wants to create jobs, yet he isn't too worried about some that already exist. Miami's cigar manufacturers are watching April 1, 2009 with grave concern. The new State Children's Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP) takes effect on that date, resulting in a 900 percent tax increase on every cigar made in the United States – or imported here.
What's at stake?
For Miami, it's the many people responsible for rolling 75 percent of the 272 million cigars rolled in this country. Manufacturers and retailers alike are bracing themselves. A tax that takes the surcharge on hecho a mano sticks from 4 cents to 40.26 cents is cause for alarm.
So, as my sergeant used to say, "Smoke if you got 'em." At this rate, you may not have 'em much longer ... or at least not as many.