Well, we weren’t out of the woods for very long, were we? As the 112th session of Congress came to a close during last year’s election season, The Tobacco Tax Equity Act (S. 3081) went to its grave, never to be missed. But as expected, Illinois Senator Richard Durbin and the bill’s cosponsors, New Jersey and Connecticut Senators Frank Lautenberg and Richard Blumenthal, reintroduced the Tobacco Tax Equity Act on January 31, 2013 under its new bill number, S. 194. Fresh off of our tango with the last pigeon-toed bill, we immediately opposed this one and did what we do best… write! We just sent this off to Senator Durbin and his cohorts, who we hope find it both civil and informative:
“With a little education, any reasonable individual would easily realize that pipe smoking is unfairly placed on the same level as cigarettes, in the Government’s eyes, when it comes to negative health effects. We don’t want to belabor that incendiary topic, although there isn’t really a debate among people with real experience on the matter, but we do want to mention that Congress’s initial tobacco taxation attempts weren’t aimed at pipe tobacco. It wasn’t until after the CHIPRA loophole was exploited by RYO companies that Congress felt the need to tax pipe tobacco merely to seal off said loophole. If this bill passes, Congress will have effectively crushed an entire community of business owners, employees, and individual craftsman whose livelihoods depend on pipes and tobacco. It would also crush the spirits of countless clubs, bloggers, and enthusiasts who enjoy pipe smoking for the friendships, conversations, and camaraderie it fosters. We implore Congress to do their due diligence in finding a fair way to accomplish their goals of revenue collection from RYO tobacco.”
While we do think we have a way with words, we certainly aren’t holding out hope of seeing Durbin at the Chicago Pipe Show, sporting a new billiard and visiting our table. That’s why it is imperative for all of us enthusiasts to once again rise up and defend our beloved past time. No one else is going to do it for us. Oppose the Tobacco Tax here and subscribe to our RSS to keep track of the Tobacco Tax bill and all other pipe and tobacco news.