House Bill 187

April 6th, 2010 by

Bubba Army and friends of the Bubba The Love Sponge® Show this is yet another bill that disregards any personal responsibility, and blames legal businesses for choices made by individuals. Representative Daryl Rouson is pushing House Bill 187 that would add a 25% tax on top of the sales tax already being paid on various types of “pipes”. This is typical big government legislating morality through extremely high taxes. Politicians have been irresponsible in their spending, now they are attempting to tax and fine their way out of the budget shortfalls the state is facing instead of looking at their own wasteful spending.

Below is a sample letter you may use to send to your representative or state senator, please feel free to add your thoughts as well. Also below are links to where you can find your house representative or state senator. Thank you for your participation and voicing your opinion in regards to this issue.

Dear ________________ ,

I am writing you to voice my opposition to House Bill 187 which would add more taxes on merchandise already taxed in the State of Florida. This bill is an attempt to legislate morality through extremely high taxes. This assault on the personal liberties of the citizens of Florida is simply unacceptable. Also a lot of these glass blown pieces are art and are purchased as such. It is not the place of legislators in this state to worry about such trivial things.

This bill would hurt the local tax revenue as many of the stores that sell this merchandise would go out of business. These are small business owners who pay taxes and employ people. In our current times of businesses closing this bill is the last thing we need. I am urging your strong opposition to this bill, as it would take yet another one of our freedoms away and close many good businesses.

Sincerely,

Name and Town

Click Here to find your state Senator

Click Here to find your State House Representative


19 Responses

  1. Houston Window Cleaning

    How is this tax different from taxing tobacco? Are you against tobacco taxes as well? Get so tired of pothead politics.

  2. Somebody

    What does your response have anything to do with he has posted on here about the bill, this is a complete bullshit tax, just like all the other bullshit taxes that the government like to increase. And no i don’t smoke pot

  3. Hallsie

    While just like Houston Window Cleaning said… this is just like the Tobacco taxes….

    I do not smoke so I do not need tobacco NOR pipes HOWEVER THIS is a prime example of why you should never, even if you don’t do/care for/want whatever it is, want anything “taxed”. You never know when it’s someone’s “hair up their ass” to come after whatever it is YOU like to do.

    The dumb part of this is that people will just stop buying locally and go online and buy from out of state where there is NO TAX!

    DUMB ASS politicians.

    “Hmmm…. let’s take revenue out of our state and our constituents’ hands and send it to other states” BRILLIANT!

  4. Houston Window Cleaning

    I suggest you read the post again “somebody”. I didn’t see anything about the Florida Unemployment tax increases. This is only up here because it is a tax on “pipes” and the argument that they are purchased as “art pieces” is really weak. I know a lot of smokers and have never met anyone that collects glass pipes as “art”. I hardly believe that a 25% tax on these particular items is going to put anyone out of business. They have a niche market and that niche will pay whatever they have to to be able to smoke what they want to smoke.

    Quit being a MARK!

  5. Itznevrenuf

    Bill 187 has been purged. The bill now left to screw us all up is #366… which has NO benefit… not even tax revenue. The following is the letter I’ve sent to the entire FL State Congress:
    April 7, 2010
    Dear Mr. Abruzzo;
    In response to your above (re-printed) letter…
    I too hold a huge amount of respect for anyone who battles and beats drug addiction. That being said in support of Rep Rouson’s recovery, I am still scratching my head in wonderment, as I have no idea what that has to do with this bill. Nothing in this bill addresses drug addiction prevention or recovery. In fact, nothing in this bill addresses drugs! It is merely a regurgitation of the intent of the paraphernalia law that past a few years back. What a huge success that has proven to be… NOT! I have read and re-read the content of Bill #366 (the bastard child resulting from the “log-rolling” of bills #187 & #366) and for the life of me, I cannot figure out what, if any benefit would be derived out of its passage. The 25% surtax originally within #187 is dead, removed in a feeble attempt to hide the overall idiocy of the pairing of #187 & #366. Someone in Tallahassee must have thought that a surtax on pipes would magically sweeten the pot toward approval of #366. That didn’t happen, therefore the surtax piece was dumped. If anything should have been dumped it’s #366. At least in the case of a surtax, funds would be collected that might offer education to those citizens and politicians whom have no idea how the items on the list are utilized. I have read in several letters regarding these bills, that many of the involved politicians and committee members themselves have no clue. Great idea folks… again the ignorant leading the unknowing at the peril of law abiding citizens for whom smoking herbals and tobacco brings some small satisfaction to their lives. We already have been all but driven into hiding in order to smoke tobacco due to fairly strict smoking laws… which even most smokers support in an effort of cooperation with the non-smoking world. The listed items that this bill involves are NOT manufactured nor are they sold for the purpose of smoking crack cocaine! Furthermore, I’m sure Rep Rouson can confirm to all of us that if a crack addict is intending to “use” he can, and more often will, get creative with any piece of ordinary tin foil or many other household items in order to satisfy his addiction. I highly doubt any of them are going to invest $500 in a hand blown art glass smoking apparatus for their purposes. If we follow his logic, we need to restrict the sale of tin foil, metal tubing, canned beverages, ink pens and every other item that can be fashioned into something that can be the vessel for burning and inhaling controlled substances, to only retailers holding a tobacco license and selling 75% tobacco. Oops! There go the grocers and home improvement retailers to the “Out of Business” section of your constituency. Are you getting it yet? The only way to eradicate Crack Cocaine from our world is through education, education, education. Further, that education has to be total and of all honest. Rep Rouson could much better serve his constituents by participating in that education from a recovering addicts point of view rather than trying to put many honest and hard working retailers out of business.
    Another piece of this bill #366 restricts the sale of any pipe by a retailer that does not hold a State issued tobacco license. WHAT? Now Florida is going to force retailers to promote tobacco use even if they only carry beautiful blown glass and/or legal herbs. We don’t want to promote the use of cancer and heart disease causing tobacco. Even those of us remaining tobacco addicts don’t want to promote it and wish we had never started. The verbiage within this legislation forces retailers of any or all of the items on the “no-no list” to hold a license to promote tobacco. No State tobacco license is required to retail herbal alternatives. This bill even goes as far as to force the retailer to sell enough tobacco products to account for 75% or their sales revenues.
    This bill, if successful will put hundreds more small business in Florida, out of business. What a clever way to destroy any currently struggling attempts to resuscitate our already devastated Florida economy. All the while reducing tax revenue to our state since these sales will instantaneously be diverted to the internet WEB sales. Good move gentlemen! How about a bit more self-education before you jump in front of a piece of paper and begin penning another piece of legislative drivel that we will likely spend many years and millions of dollars removing from our State Statutes.
    I implore you to take another long hard look at this bill’s content, for I am certain that any truly well intentioned representative of the people will conclude that it totally lacks benefit to anyone and holds enormous peril for many.

    Respectfully,

    Cindy XXXXX
    Sarasota, FL

  6. Kirkwood

    You got it “Somebody” , however I feel as if they are positioning themselves to be or allow some Big”chain” store have the rights to sell the products they sell. Just an idea!

  7. Houston Window Cleaning

    WOW! I can’t believe you guys removed my response to “somebody” like I’m some kind of spammer or something. I didn’t even use any profanity like Mr. Somebody but whatever. I wasn’t even hiding my identity. Thought you guys were all about our first amendment rights. I was just trying to voice my opinion. Whatever. Maybe my point was to good.

  8. Houston Window Cleaning

    Okay, I apologize. I must have been having some computer issues. Its there. The sad reality is that not enough people even care regardless of what stance you take.

  9. itznevrenuf

    HELLOOOOOO! People… THERE IS NO TAX! That draft has been removed from consideration. The bill in committee to be voted on in a few day is #366
    Please go to the killbill187.com site and follow the links to see the evolution if this piece of garbage.

  10. Chris

    To Houston Window Cleaning –
    You just don’t get it. It doesn’t matter that these pipes are frequently used for pot. The government does not have the right to tax items that it doesn’t like more than items that it accepts. Taxes should not be used to control our behavior. Either something is legal or it isn’t. If it is, then regular sales tax only. No extra taxes because its booze, tobacco, pipe, etc. You can’t just blindly accept any new tax that you don’t think will directly affect you…you still have to consider if it is just. In this case it is not. Why would you be for an increase in ANY taxes? How about the government operates within it’s means so it does’t need to constantly find a new tax? WAKE UP PEOPLE THEY TAKE OVER 1/2 OF YOUR MONEY when you add up income tax, sales tax, property tax, sin taxes, estate taxes, corporate taxes, etc.

  11. Houston Window Cleaning

    Good point Chris.

  12. B-Fudd

    HEY IN WASHINGTON THEY TRY TO TAX BEER, WINE, CANDY, AND ECT
    I DONT LIKE THOES TAX LAW

  13. Matt

    The tax on tobacco and the tax on pipes are very different in my opinion. If the govt is going to provide healthcare I think it’s logical to tax products that can cause serious health risks to help cover the cost of the medical bills that are going to occur from it. Less smoking means less cancer, emphazima, etc. and in turn means less treatment. There are no known diseases I can think of that come from glass.

  14. Robert

    This is exactly why there should never be Government healthcare. The government should only regulate healthcare insurance. I think healthcare should be available to everyone but not a right of everyone.

    If I choose to drink and smoke and not take care of myself I should except to pay way more for healthcare than somebody that is healthy.

    I believe that the chooses we make have direct consciences. We should be free to make our own chooses, but don’t then cry about those chooses later an act like you are owed something.

    Freedom is a double edge sword. You have the freedom to be a complete waste of life or an average citizen doing what is right for you and your family. But if you choose to be a waste then you do not deserve to be treated any other way.

    Taxing something because you think I should not be doing that is none of your F’n business and government should be its greedy hands out of it. Be it tobacco, “Pipes”, Alcohol, firearms …etc.

    And no I don’t think we should ignore people that are disabled or have a mental or physical disability. They do need our help and deserve it.

  15. Bakerchez

    So, is it ok to be mad now?
    (Response to Teapartiers)

  16. peace of mind smoke shop

    this is a stupid bill they are trying to close down all pipe shops and put us out of buisness. i am a small buisness smoke shop owner and this bill will kill us and we pay taxes like everyone else. this will hurt the government more than it will help cause on top of the extra 25% they also want to make our gross sales 75% tobacco which means no more selling hand pipes, water pipes, or anything of the sort unless we can sell 3/4 tobacco which is impossible cause we can not compete with the convience of going down the street to a corner store to get a pack of smokes instead of coming all the way into town.

  17. peace of mind smoke shop

    and matt just to let you know a water pipe (bong) actually reduces the chance of lung cancer by 45%. so why should they be allowed to tax that if it helps reduce the risk of serious illnesses?

  18. peace of mind smoke shop

    and chris i agree with you a hundred percent this government tax crap is a form of double taxation which in the constitution is not allowed!

  19. Tampa glass blower

    Stores will have to cheat the law by using loopholes or they will have to close down. That’s it. Simple as that. Here’s an example of what’s happening here. Some of the pipes I make sell from $1,000 – $3,000. That’s right. A $3,000 pipe. The most expensive pipe I know of to have been sold was $14,000. The most expensive one I’ve personally seen sold was $5,000. This isn’t just a bunch of granola eating hippies we’re talking about here. This is a real, multi-million dollar industry in this nation that deserves to be taken seriously. To be compliant with this new proposed law, a store that sells a $3,000 pipe would then have to sell $12,000 worth of tobacco that month just to make up for that one sale. Heaven forbid that a store actually sells more than one thing a month.
    I called Mr. Abruzzo’s office and spoke at length with his representative there. This was part of our conversation. He asked me “Well if head shops close down, why don’t you just display your work at a gas station?” My response, “Are you kidding right now?” He wasn’t. I said “Where will I put these pieces of work that cost thousands of dollars and took me months to design and create? Next to the Fruit Stripe gum?”
    After I explained how artists don’t display their works at gas stations he asked “Then why don’t you put them in galleries”. My response, “Because you’re trying to pass a law that would make any gallery that sold one of my pieces have to get a tobacco license and sell thousands of dollars worth of tobacco to make up for selling my art.” His response “Oh……..well I’m the only one at the office and I have a lot to do so thanks for calling”.
    Funny how once I had totally shut every single one of his arguments down, he suddenly didn’t have time to talk anymore. I didn’t even get to get into how much tax revenue would be lost or how many shop employees would be added to the already large unemployment lists in Florida. Or how this would add to the foreclosures of our state when people couldn’t make a living anymore. Etc..
    I have made pipes, among other things, for over 10 years now. There is a big shift happening in most of the country. Pipes are turning up at high end art galleries all over. Complete shows dedicated to pipe art and that movement are happening in NYC, San Fransisco and LA while our state tries to pass laws to hurt glass artists and legal establishments that sell our work. I pay taxes. I, and every other artist actually CREATE revenue for this state. That means we don’t just move money around. We actually make something. We create something new. We generate state revenue that wasn’t there before we came along. I play by the rules. This is how I put food on the table for my family. The same is true for thousands of individual glass artists and stores in this state.
    What does this really mean? Now we get down to it. What this means is that the few stores that use loopholes to stay open will still generate some revenue. However, other than what I can still sell to a hand full of these stores, all of my product, and the vast majority of work from every other glass pipe maker here in Florida, will be shipped out of state now. That means that some other state will be making more money than usual and our state will be making less than usual. So be it.

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