Posts tagged ‘kansas’

Cigar Store Owners Say “No” to Parkinson’s Tax Proposals

wibw.com

Posted: 8:38 PM Jan 14, 2010

A member of a group representing small-store tobacco sellers, says legislated smoking bans are based on misinformation about secondhand smoke.

Reporter: From 13 News

TOPEKA — Governor Mark Parkinson’s efforts to increase taxes primarily on lower- and middle-class Kansans should be thwarted, according to the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.

Parkinson has requested that the state legislature increase taxes on groceries, clothing, tobacco and other consumer goods to help offset the state’s gaping budget shortfall projected to be some $400 million in the fiscal year beginning July, 2010.

“In addition to a substantial increase in tobacco taxes, the governor has asked for a comprehensive statewide smoking ban. So, on one hand he wants people to smoke in order to fund government projects and, on the other hand, he wants people to stop smoking. Neither position makes any sense,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR.

The IPCPR is a non-profit organization comprised of some 2,000 largely mom-and-pop small businesses engaged in the manufacturing, distributing and retailing of premium cigars, pipes, tobacco and related accoutrements sold in neighborhood cigar stores.

McCalla said tobacco taxes disproportionately burden lower- and middle-income people, that such taxes are an unreliable and unsustainable source of revenue and that, as tobacco taxes increase, sales of tobacco decline. Couple the increased taxes with a smoking ban and it would only ensure higher unemployment and increased business failures, he added.

“That puts people out of jobs, results in ruined businesses, and prevents state programs from being funded. On top of higher taxes, he wants a statewide smoking ban which would only hasten the demise of that revenue stream,” he said. “Besides, tobacco taxes are a discriminatory tax on a minority of the population – the 20 percent of adults who smoke.”

According to published reports cited by McCalla, 20 percent of people who continue to smoke despite tax increases find ways around paying the higher taxes.

“They use black market, cross-border and Internet purchasing which hurt local businesses and prevent the state from collecting any taxes whatsoever. They go to neighboring states where tobacco taxes and prices are lower. They fall victim to crimes of buying bootlegged tobacco products,” McCalla said. “In these ways, non-smokers as well as smokers suffer from the increased taxes.”

“Some people say there are no safe levels of secondhand smoke. Not so. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration – OSHA – has established safe levels of secondhand smoke and those safe levels are 25,000 times higher than are found in restaurants and bars,” he said.

Smoking ban petition exceeding expectations

49 news

Daniel WinnBy Daniel Winn

Smoking ban supporters are counting down the days until it is the law, but opponents say “not so fast.”

Opponents of the smoking ban are reporting a lot of interest in a petition, and they say support is actually exceeding their expectations.

Andrew Gray with the Kansas Libertarian Party says about one thousand supporters have signed the petition so far.

Some business owners say they have been surprised how many non-smokers have been advocated for their cause. George Finch with “Churchill’s Pipe and Cigar Shop” believes it’s not about smoking, but rather a business owner’s right to choose. He says government needs to stay out of it. Finch asks “What’s next? will burger joints only be able to sell cheese burgers to slim people?”

The smoking ban is scheduled to go into effect on December 4, according to local petition organizers.

IPCPR Says Gov. Sebelius at Odds with OSHA

IPCPR Says Gov. Sebelius at Odds with OSHA

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, is apparently at odds with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. She also may be steering her state into the teeth of multiple business failures, hundreds of job losses and millions in lost tax revenues, says Chris McCalla, legislative director of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.

Topeka, KS (PRWEB) March 5, 2009 — Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, is apparently at odds with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. She also may be steering her state into the teeth of multiple business failures, hundreds of job losses and millions in lost tax revenues, says Chris McCalla, legislative director of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.Governor Sebelius has been cheerleading a smoking ban through the Kansas legislature along with a bill to punitively raise the state’s excise taxes on non-cigarette tobacco products which would be on top of the recently federally legislated excise taxes imposed on all tobacco products to fund SCHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. She is reported to have called the ban ‘likely the most significant piece of health-related legislation that could come out of Topeka this year.'”

Governor Sebelius apparently is unaware of OSHA’s standards for safe levels of secondhand smoke that are up to 25,000 times higher than would be found in restaurants, cigar bars and other businesses,” McCalla said.As for job losses and business failures resulting from legislated smoking bans, McCalla cited the Federal Reserve Bank and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Based on impartial data generated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Reserve Bank has found that significant employment declines result from forced smoking bans, especially in bars and restaurants,” he said. “That means businesses die, workers lose their jobs and the state and nation lose federal, state and local tax revenues.”

According to McCalla, the constitutional rights of Kansas business owners are also at stake with a legislated smoking ban.

“The marketplace has been very effective deciding which businesses elect to allow smoking or not. That’s as it should be: up to the individual business owner. For government to control private businesses is depriving citizens of the rights given to them by the United States Constitution,” said McCalla.

Contact:

Tony Tortorici

678/493-0313

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Contact Information
Tony Tortorici
Int’l Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers
http://www.ipcpr.org
678 493 0313

 
 
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