Jul 072012
 

Floyd Palmer measures out tobacco from a holding bin onto the scale at Firebrand Smokes in Hixson, TN on Thursday. Firebrand Smokes is a roll-your-own tobacco establishment that will be forced to close down when President Barack Obama signs the just-passed Transportation Bill.

I realize a lot of you do not smoke & find it repulsive, but we are talking about the NON transparent administration who sneaks this into a job for construction jobs, which btw is a joke. What does us not being able to roll our own cigarettes have to do with extending student rate loans?! But it did not stop him. The prices of cigarette tobacco went up in his administration so getting our own tobacco was not much more cost saving then our nasty habit. But it is our nasty habit, and his too! Cans of tobacco got taxed under this taxing crazy president. He’s not happy with all the taxes hidden in Obama Tax. He has to find more ways to tax us to death.

Not JUST teeing me off, but what about all those jobs?! Cigarettes are taxed to death already & he knows he can’t outright throw more at us. But he’s ‘killing’ jobs NOT creating any but governmental. I JUST hope tobacco companies rise up, but I doubt it because they still get rich off of us nicotine addicts. Now the new FEDERAL Anti-Smoking camPAIN makes more sense. Thanks to @JoeSixpackSays for tweeting this issue! ~ JP

(CBS News) An unprecedented ad campaign from the federal government targets the dangers of smoking in a series of graphic print ads and some tough-to-watch TV commercials.

“But the message can get lost,” Whiteson said. “People will be disturbed by these images and they may look away and say, ‘I can’t look at that.’”

Then what works?

Tucked within the omnibus transportation package is a tax provision that could force most roll-your-own cigarette stores to go up in smoke, including nine such stores in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia.

~ Here in our small town we have seen one tobacco store after another close shop.

The new law will redefine stores such as Firebrand Smokes as cigarette manufacturers, making them pay the same taxes as cigarettes sold in convenience or grocery stores.

“This will totally shut us down and end up hurting the economy by cutting jobs and taxes,” said Angie Cunnyngham. She’s general manager for Firebrand Smokes, which operates eight stores in the Chattanooga area where smokers avoid higher cigarette taxes by rolling their own tobacco.

“This place is like family to thousands of people in this area, and putting us out of business makes no sense at all,” she said.

Since 2009 when Congress imposed different taxes on ready-made cigarettes than loose tobacco, roll-your-own stores have spread like weeds. The stores allow smokers to buy their own tobacco and rent rolling machines in the stores to make their own smokes, cutting their tax bill and cost of smoking nearly in half.

“It seems like the government tries to get everything they can from what the poor working man makes,” said Floyd Palmer, a 50-year-old smoker from Hixson who on Thursday was rolling 800 of his own cigarettes at the Firebrand Smokes store in Hixson.

Palmer paid $96 for the equivalent of four cartons of cigarettes, about half the cost of the same smokes at a convenience store. Palmer said he has come to Firebrand Smokes every week for the past two years to buy loose tobacco patterned after Marlboro menthol cigarettes, then roll it up.

“I’m the one who operates the machine, so I don’t see how they can say the store is a cigarette manufacturer,” he said.

Palmer, who suffers from asthma and emphysema, also claims rolled cigarettes made from loose tobacco have fewer irritating chemicals.

Anti-tobacco groups, cigarette manufacturers and state revenue agents united in a highly unusual political alliance to convince Congress to close what they claim is an unfair tax loophole for roll-your-own shops.

In 2009, Congress more than doubled the federal excise tax on cigarettes and raised the tax on roll-your-own tobacco from $1.10 a pound to $24.78 a pound. But the tax on pipe tobacco increased only to $2.83 a pound and roll-your-own smoke shops quickly seized on the tax advantage of selling pipe tobacco, then using it to roll cigarettes.

U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said he included a provision in the transportation bill being signed today to classify roll-your-own smoke shops as cigarette manufacturers to help level the playing field among cigarette retailers.

~ Let Max know you don’t appreciate his provision under the guise of transportation and student loans! I know I am Tweeting him!

@justpipertoo

@MaxBaucus Why are you hiding this in a construction/student loan bill justpiper.com/2012/07/jp-hot… #NOTransparency

But Carrie Heffner, who with her husband, John, opened the U-Rolit tobacco store on Cleveland Highway in Dalton, Ga., last October, insists their store is different from conventional cigarette retailers.

“We’re not cigarette manufacturers because the customer is the one who rolls the pipe tobacco we sell,” she said. “I’m incredibly angry because they stuck this in the middle of a transportation and student loan bill, and we don’t have anything to do with either of those areas of government.”

“This is really like ‘Cheers,’ where everybody knows your name,” Cunnyngham said. “It’s going to be sad for a lot of people if we have to shut down.”

Firebrand Smokes employs 44 employees at its eight stores and was preparing to open three more stores until the owners heard how the new cigarette manufacturing language was inserted into the transportation bill last week.

“Unfortunately, a lot of folks are simply going to go online now to buy their tobacco because they’ve found they like roll-your-own smokes better because there are fewer chemicals,” Cunnyngham said. “That means there will end up being fewer jobs and less tax money collected.”

~ What a bunch of dumb arses Bambi & the rest of em’ are!

This post was hard to find. As always there is a lack of this being reported. Including the new taxes contained in ObamaCareTax. I thank yet another blogger citizen journalist, Dave Flessner for posting this!

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