Ohio Governor John Kasich is calling for a massive tobacco tax hike as part of his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Kasich is asking for an increase in the tax rate on cigars and other tobacco products–excluding cigarettes–from 17 percent of the wholesale price to 69 percent of the wholesale price, though it would be capped at $2 per cigar. That means that a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 would increase from $11.12 to $13.50 before sales taxes are added.
The governor is also calling for an increase in the tax on cigarettes from $1.60 to $2.25 per pack. It would also implement a new tax on e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices, taxing them at the proposed 69 percent rate.
This is the second time in two years that Kasich has called for a significant increase; in March 2014 he proposed a more modest increase of 17 percent to 49 percent, with a proposed increase in the cigarette tax from $1.25 to $1.85.
The budget now heads to state legislators for their review, a process that begins on Wednesday. The budget must be approved by June 30.
Correction: the original version of this story did not include the $2 tax cap that the governor included in his proposal.