When Gov. John Kasich presented his budget proposal in February, it contained sizable increases in Ohio’s tax rates on tobacco, seeking an increase in the tax rate on cigars and other tobacco products–excluding cigarettes–from 17 percent of the wholesale price to 69 percent of the wholesale price, though with a $2 cap on the tax for a single cigar.
He also wanted to increase the state’s cigarette tax by $0.65 per pack, from the current rate of $1.60 per pack to $2.25, while implementing a new tax on e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices, taxing them at the proposed 69 percent rate.
This week, the Ohio House of Representatives began releasing looks at its proposed budget, and noticeably absent were any increases in the tobacco tax, which came from a fear that Ohioans would shift their purchases to neighboring states with lower taxes, according to a report by WKSU.com.
By halfwheel estimates, Kasich’s proposal would have increased the cost of a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 from $11.12 to $13.50, before sales taxes are added.
The House Finance Committee is scheduled to hold another hearing on the budget–its 13th–on Monday, May 1, with a vote possible.
The deadline for the budget to be approved is June 30.