Mayor Rahm Emmanuel wants a new orientation program from incoming high schoolers in the city of Chicago and he might just use cigars to help pay for it.
Emmanuel has proposed a new one-week transition program for all incoming high school freshman and a two-week program for eighth grade dropouts, all of which will come to a total cost of $6 million. How does one pay for such a thing: tobacco taxes.
Under Emmanuel’s plan a 90 cent per cigar tax would be issued on all large cigars. This is in addition to a state tax of 36 percent tax on the wholesale level and a 30 cent per cigar tax imposed by Cook County.
At the moment, a cigar with a suggested retail price of $10.50 likely retails for around $14.88 in Chicago. If Emmanuel’s tax goes through, it could raise the price to $16.68 based on halfwheel estimates.
In addition, small cigars would receive an additional 15 cent per cigar tax, a $6.60 per ounce tax on roll-your-own tobacco and $1.80 per ounce tax on smokeless tobacco.
Not included is an increase on taxes for cigarettes.