The finalized version of the 2016-2017 Pennsylvania budget does not include a tax on cigars.

A legislative source told halfwheel that state leaders agreed to strip a proposed 40 percent tax on cigars from the budget. It’s not all good news for smokers, a 55 cents per ounce tax on all other tobacco products, not including cigars and electric cigarettes, remains in the bill.

Pennsylvania holds unique importance to the cigar industry because it is home to major catalog retailers like Cigars International, Famous Smoke Shop, Holt’s and Atlantic Cigar Co. The reason many of those retailers are based in Pennsylvania is because it, along with Florida, New Hampshire and Washington D.C., have no state excise tax on cigars.

This is hardly the first time a 40 percent tax on cigars has been proposed in Pennsylvania. As the state has dealt with budget shortfalls over the years, some have proposed adding a tax on cigars, a proposal that is consistently meant with arguments about how many potential jobs it could cost the state if the major retailers were to leave.

Update: The bill has been signed into law.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.