Earlier this year we reported on a proposed increase in the taxes charged on other tobacco products (OTP) in the state of West Virginia. While that increase was only a jump from 7 percent to 10.5 percent, there’s a new measure that would represent over a five times increases in the tobaccos.
H.B. 2953 was introduced in late February, it modifies West Virginia law to tax other tobacco products, i.e. anything other cigarettes, at a rate of 39 percent, up from 7 percent. In addition, the tax would increase the tax on cigarettes from 55 cents per 20 cigarettes to $1 per 20 cigarettes.
Currently, a cigar with a suggested retail price of $9.50 should retail for around $10.17 with the state taxes factored in. If H.B. 2953 becomes law, the estimated price would increase to $13.21 making it one of the 10 most expensive cigar taxes in the U.S.
Representatives Tom Fast, R-32, Allen V. Evans, R-54, Ruth Rowan, R-57, Mike Pushkin, D-37, and Barbara Evans Fleischauer, D-51, are listed as sponsors of the bill, which is now in the Health and Human Resources then Finance. A Hornbuckle is also listed as a sponsor, but the West Virginia House of Delegates roster does not list anyone by that name.