Ketchikan, Alaska Puts Brakes On Tobacco Tax

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Just over a month ago, the city and borough of Ketchikan, Alaska seemed to be headed towards at least a thorough discussion and possible vote on a tobacco tax increase, but on Monday the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly put the brakes on the progress, and put them on hard.

The council voted 4-3 to indefinitely postpone taking any further action on the tax, which would have implemented a $3 per pack cigarette tax while raising the tax on other tobacco products, including cigars, to 75% of the wholesale price. One councilman, Todd Phillips, who had previously been in support of the tax switched sides, saying that he had issue with telling people how to live by way of taxes, according to KRBD.org.

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The Ketchikan City Council could still seek an increase within city limits, but there have been no indications that will happen in the immediate future.

Ketchikan is the southeasternmost city in Alaska and has a population of just over 8,200 people, while the borough has approximately 13,500 residents.

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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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