A bill that would have capped the tax on premium cigars in the state of Utah at 50 cents per cigar was voted down on Monday, falling on a 35-38 vote in the state House of Representatives.

House Bill 358 was created with the aim of keeping tobacco tax revenue in state by giving consumers and businesses a more level playing field and reducing the amount of out-of-state cigar shopping. Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, told SLTrib.com that “we are losing a significant amount of tax revenue to neighboring states and internet sales.”

Had it passed, the cap would not have taken effect until 2016 so as to address concerns about the change in revenue. That brought concern from other lawmakers who would have rather secured better estimates as to the bill’s effects on state coffers before passing it.

With the bill’s demise, the state retains its uncapped tax of 86 percent of the manufacturer’s price.

Avatar photo

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.