CRA News Alert - January 29, 2010



Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Proposes Massive Tobacco Tax Increase In 2011 Budget.
- Cigar Taxes Would Increase from 30% to 110% -

By: Glynn Loope, CRA Executive Director

Please Forward This Email To All Cigar Enthusiasts!


Last week, it was the dramatic tax proposal on the west coast in the State of Washington . This week, we move east to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts , where Governor Deval Patrick has proposed raising the excise tax on cigars from 30% to 110%. It's that time of year.

Massachusetts has a proposed $28 billion budget, and with this proposal, even using the Governor's figures, would only generate $15 million, while threatening small businesses, and working to actually reduce revenue collections, by driving consumers to other venues to buy their cigars.

This comes a little over twelve months after Boston Mayor Tom Menino unilaterally banned outdoor smoking, while threatening to shut down less than a dozen cigar bars with a sunset provision in that great city, using the Boston Public Health Commission as his instrument of prohibition. It's the hypocrisy of such policy making that calls us to arms.

Smoking bans and tax increases (like in the current proposal in Kansas) have to be discussed in the same context. Don't expect to hit those revenue projections, if you're still allowing for more restrictive use measures.


2010 Cigar Events Are Now Posted On The CRA Website


Fortunately, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo unveiled his own version of a budget for the Commonwealth yesterday. His version has no new taxes. In his words, "Citizens are already living paycheck to paycheck, and stretching their dollars as far as humanly possible. We cannot and will not ask them to do more." Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Massachusetts legislators such as Senator Steven Panagiotakos and Representative Charles Murphy of their respective money committees, have noted that legislators will probably meet new tax proposals with skepticism.

Let's leave nothing to chance. We can't. With any state legislature. Massachusetts is home to some of the nation's great cigar shops, which have a base of dedicated cigar enthusiast patrons. Let's stand with them as one Cigar Nation.

Tell Governor Patrick "enough is enough," and let's tell key members of the Massachusetts legislature that this cigar tax measure must be defeated.


Please Contact The Governor and These Legislators
Please tell them "enough is enough" and that you oppose ANY Increased Cigar Taxes

    Email Gov. Deval Patrick
Click Here
    Call Gov. Deval Patrick
Phone: (617) 725-4005
Fax: (617) 727-9725
TTY: (617) 727-3666
    Mail Gov. Deval Patrick
Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor
Office of the Lt. Governor
Room 280
Boston, MA 02133

    Email Senator Steven Panagiotakos
    Call Senator Steven Panagiotakos
Phone: (617) 722-1630
Fax: (617) 722-1001
    Mail Senator Steven Panagiotakos
Massachusetts State House
Room 212
Boston, MA 02133

    Email Representative Charles Murphy
    Call Representative Charles Murphy
Phone: (617) 722-2990
Fax: (617) 722-2998
    Mail Representative Charles Murphy
Massachusetts State House
Room 243
Boston, MA 02133


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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:

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.

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.

There are three easy ways to donate to CRA:

Please visit:

    By Fax
Please download the CRA Donation Form and fax it to (818) 541-6865

    By Mail
Please download the CRA Donation Form and mail it to:
Cigar Rights of America - Membership Dept.
5105 E. Los Angeles Ave, Suite 155
Simi Valley, CA  93063

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