When a Tax Increase Might Be a Good Thing

Your friends down at the Capitol might raise taxes on cigars, which are already taxed differently from other tobacco products (as they should be for a variety of reasons, including the fact they are consumed and sold differently than cigarettes, don’t have the same damaging effects as the others, aren’t used by minors–so basically every “justification” used for high taxes on cigarettes just don’t work with cigars, but I digress).

While it may be considered a “sin tax” it appears that it would be done to level the playing field for in-state retailers who are undercut by wholesalers outside of Georgia. Guess who doesn’t like the proposal…

According to GPB:

“Having this bill that makes all retailers accountable for the same taxes we pay in the state, I don’t see any downside to this,” [Glynn Segars, who owns The Cigar Shop in Athens] said. “As someone who operates a clean budget and a very open-book business, I don’t see how we lose.”

As someone who smokes cigars and only buys from brick & mortar stores I am in favor. Tobacconists have been some of the hardest-hit businesses due to the rise of the internet.

ETA: Meant to highlight this but forgot… “According to the Department of Revenue, 7 percent to 23 percent of tobacco sold in Georgia is not taxed as required by law…” Curious why the huge range of potential sales. Is it because it is unpredictable how many cigars will be sold? Does the DoR have poor models? Government incompetence? Seems like they’d have figured out exactly how much of an easily-taxable product is sold.


  1. View from Brookhaven says:

    I don’t smoke as many as I used to (or that I’d like to), but I’ve always split my purchases between the online wholesalers and local shops. Online prices can’t be beat, but I still appreciate the locals who shared knowledge with me when I was getting in to this “hobby.” They earned my money.

    On the topic…if there’s any hidden gems in terms of shops in the Atlanta-area, please share. I’m willing to even drive to the *gasp* suburbs.

    On the tax…meh, won’t change my buying habits. Do your worst.

    • Ed says:

      “won’t change my buying habits.”


      Do you go to Highland Cigar? It is well-known but a surprising number of people don’t go there.

      Two best places to buy smokes are Scottish Tobacco in the Marshall’s/Ross/Michael’s shopping center in Lindbergh (across from the WaHo) and the place in Dantana’s in Buckhead. The latter looks to have a really nice place to hang out, but I’ve only bought sticks there.

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