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New York Cigar Tax Cap Bill Falls Short

The New York State Assembly closed its 2011 session before it could vote on a bill that called for the state excise tax on a single premium cigar to be capped at one dollar.

The bill, which was heavily lobbied for by pro-cigar groups such as the New York Tobacconist's Association, the Cigar Rights of America, the International Premium Cigars & Pipe Retailers and the Cigar Association of America, had passed a Senate vote a few weeks ago and was awaiting an Assembly floor vote before lawmakers adjourned.

New York cigar retailers now must wait until 2012 before a state tax cap can be approved.

"I know many of you are upset because we didn't get the cap passed into law this time around," said Ron Melendi, president of the NYTA and the general manager of De La Concha in New York City, in an open letter to his fellow tobacconists. "However, let me stress that this is nowhere near over."