Michigan Senators Propose Extending Cigar Tax Cap Indefinitely

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The battle over Michigan’s 50-cent cap on the cigar tax will add a new chapter this legislation as five senators have introduced a bill to permanently extend it, fresh off the former governor’s veto of a similar proposal last year.

Currently, the cap is set to sunset on Oct. 31, 2021, which would return the tax rate to 32 percent of the wholesale price. In terms of what that means at the register, a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 costs around $10.50 with the cap, while that same cigar would cost $12.54 by halfwheel’s estimate.

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S.B. 58 seeks to avoid that increase by removing the sunset date and extending the cap indefinitely. The bill is authored by Jim Runestad, R-15, and has gained four co-sponsors so far: Sens. Tom Barrett, R-24; Peter Lucido, R-8; Dale Zorn, R-17; and Michael MacDonald, R-10.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance where it is awaiting a hearing. Should it pass, it will meet a new governor, as Gov. Rick Snyder left office at the end of 2018 after hitting the state’s two-term limit. He has been succeeded by Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who has served several terms in both the House and Senate and won the November 2018 election with 53.34 percent of the vote.

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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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