A pair of bills have been introduced into the Nebraska Legislature that could have significant impacts on the cost of cigars this year.

Currently, the tax rate in the state is 20% of the wholesale price, meaning that a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 would cost approximately $11.40 by halfwheel estimates.

L.B. 1087, introduced by Sen. Justin Wayne, would impose a 50-cent cap on the cigar tax, bringing the cost for that $9.50 cigar down to $10.50 at the register. If it passes, it would go into effect on Oct. 1, 2018.

Meanwhile, L.B. 1117, introudced by Sen. Sue Crawford, would increase the tax rate from 20 to 45 percent, raising the register price to $13.78, by halfwheel estimates. It would also raise the tax on cigarettes from $0.64 to $2.14 per pack and the tax on snuff from $0.44 to $1 per ounce.

Unlike its competing bill, this one contains an emergency clause, meaning that it would go into effect immediately upon passage.

The Cigar Association of America has come out in support of L.B. 1087 and in opposition to L.B. 1117.

Both bills have been referred to the legislature’s revenue committee.

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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.