Iowa Could See Drastic Cigar Tax Increase

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A bill introduced into the Iowa Legislature on Wednesday is seeking to not only remove the state’s 50-cent cap on the cigar tax, but increase the rate from 50 percent to 67 percent of the wholesale price, a change that would have cigars costing drastically more at the register.

Currently, a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 costs $10.50 by halfwheel estimates. But take away the cap and increase the rate, and that cigar jumps to $15.87, an increase of $5.37. Buy a box of 25 cigars, and the increase is a whopping $134.25.

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In addition, HF 364 would increase the tax on cigarettes by $1.50, raising it from $1.36 to $2.86 per pack. Snuff would also be subject to the 67 percent rate, a chance from the current rate of $1.19 per ounce.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City. It has been assigned to the House Commerce Committee.

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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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