As part of a plan to help remedy a projected $900 million shortfall in the state’s budget over the next 18 months, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing a doubling of the state’s taxes on tobacco products, which includes premium cigars.

Brownback announced the plan on Wednesday, part of a number of tax increase proposals that includes a $1.29 per pack increase on cigarettes as well as a doubling of the state’s liquor tax from 8 to 16 percent.

Currently, Kansas taxes cigars and other tobacco products at 10%, but Brownback would like to see that go to 20%. For a cigar with a $9.50 suggested retail price, a consumer would see the cost at the register go from $10.45 to $11.40 by halfwheel estimates, before any sales taxes are added.

In 2015, Brownback called for an even larger increase as he sought to raise the tax rate from 10 to 25 percent of the wholesale price.

Additionally, the governor proposed selling future proceeds from the Master Settlement Agreement, an agreement between 46, five U.S. territories, the District of Columbia and the five largest tobacco companies.

The Kansas Legislature will now take up the task of drawing up its own budget and responding to the governor’s proposed tax increases and spending cuts.

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Patrick Lagreid

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