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.