Gov. Kasich Calls for Massive Tobacco Tax Hike in Ohio

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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.

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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.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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 the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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