A proposed permanent cap on the cigar tax in Michigan took a big step forward this week, as the Michigan State Senate gave its approval to HB 4485, a bill that will preserve the current 50-cent cap and save cigar smokers a good amount of money.

Currently, the state has a tax rate of 32.4 percent of the wholesale price on cigars, but ever since November 2012, a cap of 50 cents per cigar has been in place. In real-world terms, that meant that a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 cost $10.50 at the register instead of $12.58 by halfwheel estimates, and using commonly practiced tax procedures. However, that cap was never permanent, and after several renewals, was set to sunset this month.

HB 4485, which was sponsored by Rep. Matt Hall, R-Marshall, was introduced in April and passed by the House of Representatives in May by an 83-25 vote with two representatives not voting. It had sat untouched over the summer, but was picked up on Tuesday and quickly ushered through the legislative process, passing the Senate by a 28-6 vote with two senators excused. It was passed without amendment and ordered to be enrolled the same day, which will send it to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her signature.

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.