This week, the Florida Senate unanimously passed a $1 tax increase on a pack of cigarettes.
A local Key West convenience store predicted $7 per pack cigarettes soon. A friend mentioned he purchased an $8 pack at a dockside bar/restaurant on Stock Island.
Cigar smokers will also see a tax increase - as much as $1 per cigar (tax depends on weight - tax is $1 on 1 oz. of tobacco).
Key West once was the epi-center of the US cigar industry. Today there is nearly no cigar manufacturing in Key West.
The State of Florida, however, has more cigar companies than any other state - and they are fuming over the new tax - predicting sales declines, employee firings, and companies relocating out of state. Florida makes approximately 90% of all domestic cigars.
Imagine Cuba is opened and the world's finest cigars are widely available in the US. Will the Florida cigar manufacturing industry survive, especially given the added burden of the new tobacco tax?
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