On Tuesday, the Michigan House of Representatives voted to approve a permanent extension to the 50-cent cap on the state’s cigar tax, a move that could save cigar smokers in the state a significant amount of money.

While the cap has been in place since November 2012, it has been extended several times but is currently set to expire in November. There have been other attempts to extend it permanently; in 2018 a similar bill reached the desk of former Gov. Rick Snyder, though he vetoed the legislation. In the 2020 session, a bill was proposed to raise the cap to 65 cents and 75 cents in subsequent years, though failed to advance in the House after being passed by the Senate.

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The cap has been a welcome reprieve for cigar smokers, as the state’s full tax rate on cigars is 32 percent of the wholesale price. That means that a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 would cost $12.54 without the cap by halfwheel estimates. With the 50-cent cap in place, that same cigar costs just $10.50, again by halfwheel estimates, and before any sales taxes are added.

HB 4485 passed by a vote of 83-25, with two members not voting. The bill now heads to the Senate for that chamber’s debate and possible passage.

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 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.