Tobacco

Voodoo Economics

Asian retailer group speaks out against N.J. cigarette tax hike

TRENTON, N.J. -- In a press conference held at the New Jersey statehouse, leadership of the Asian American Retailers Association (AARA) spoke out against Governor Jon Corzine's recent proposal to raise the cigarette tax for the fourth time in as many years.

The proposal, which would increase the tax to $2.75 per pack, would make New Jersey's tax the largest in the nation. The tax hike, which follows 70-, 55- and 35-cent increases over the last three years, has angered retailers, the group said.

Jasal Amin, executive vice president [image-nocss] for the AARA, spoke on behalf of the association. Cigarette sales to adult consumers is critical to the retail economy. It consists of up to 60% of the independent retail market, he said. We are here to remind Trenton that the real impact is on the independent retailer who has in many instances invested his life savings into a store.

AARA is making the case that the tax hike is really voodoo economics. Studies presented at the press conference show the state would actually loose money. Daksesh Patel, a member of AARA and store owner operating near the Delaware border, gave one reason: We see Delaware consumption hit all time highs, just as New Jersey consumption is hitting all time lows.

He added, The correlation is clear; between online, out of state and illegal bootlegging, we lose. Patel added that the loss of a pack sale also causes the loss of additional merchandise. We lose the sales of candy bars, sodas and groceries, too.

Amin asked legislators to use reason when voting. The increase of the tax causes increased unemployment, the closing of stores, inconvenience to customers, less capital reinvestment, loss of sales tax for state and loss of taxable income, he said.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a CSP member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Technology/Services

How to Make the C-Store the Hero for Retail Media Success

Here’s what motivates consumers when it comes to in-store and digital advertising

Mergers & Acquisitions

Soft Landing Now, But If Anyone Is Happy, Please Stand Up to Be Seen

Addressing the economic elephants in the room and their impact on M&A

Foodservice

Opportunities Abound With Limited-Time Offers

For success, complement existing menu offerings, consider product availability and trends, and more, experts say

Trending

More from our partners