Cigar shop owners fuming over proposed tax
Cigar store owners say Gov. David Paterson's (D-N.Y.) proposed tobacco increase from 46 percent to 90 percent will only help out-of-state competitors.
The proposed 90-percent tax would apply to cigars, pipe tobacco and chewing tobacco.
New York's budget office says the tax would help close a $9.2 billion budget deficit and discourage the use of tobacco.
Teresa and Jim Mantione own a 30-year-old cigar business and say sales dropped by a third when New York raised tobacco taxes from 37 percent to 46 percent in April 2009.
"Forty-six percent is crazy right now, you don't want them to raise it one more percent, 90 percent would put us out of business," Teresa Mantione says.