The multi-year effort to make cigars more affordable in Hawaii had a significant win last week.
A week ago, Hawaii’s Senate voted 19-4 with two abstaining to in favor of S.B. 2135, a bill that would establish the tax on large cigars in Hawaii to either 50 cents per cigar or 50 percent of the wholesale price, whichever is lesser.
Currently cigars are taxed at 50 percent of their wholesale price. That means a cigar with a suggested retail price of $9.50 likely retails from around $14.25. If S.B. 2135 is passed, the same cigar would likely retail for around $10.50.
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives.
Trying to lower the tax on cigars in Hawaii has been going on for multiple years, in large part thanks to the Hawaii Cigar Association.
In addition to the cigar tax cap, the Senate also passed S.B. 2408 which exempts premium cigars from a self-service display ban.