A new proposal in Philadelphia could increase the cost of cigars within city limits.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown has proposed a series of taxes on tobacco products aimed at adding money to the city’s school district. Brown’s proposed rule includes a tax of 36 cents per cigar.
In addition, e-cigarettes would be taxed at $2 per device and 50 cents per milliliter of liquid. Rolling papers would be taxed at 50 cents per pack and other tobacco products, such as pipe tobacco, would be taxed at 50 cents per ounce. Last month, a $2 per pack tax went into effect on cigarettes sold in the city, also in an effort to help fund the cash-strapped school district.
Interestingly, the law would not apply to any cigar—or other tobacco product—sold in the city of Philadelphia but shipped elsewhere. Two large mail order and online retailers are located in the Philadelphia area: Holt’s which is located in Philadelphia proper and Atlantic Cigar Co., which is located in Folcroft, Penn. Atlantic would not be affected by the law regardless of the mail order exclusion as it is not in Philadelphia proper.
Pennsylvania is one of three states without any state taxes on premium cigars, joined by Florida and New Hampshire. In addition, there are no cigar taxes in the District of Columbia.