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Michigan’s Cigar Tax Cap Moves to House for Debate

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In 2012, the Michigan legislature approved a 50-cent cap on its cigar tax, which had previously been 32% of the wholesale price. But tucked in that legislation was an expiration date of Oct. 31, 2016. This session, the Michigan legislature is debating whether or not to remove that expiration date and let the cap remain in place indefinitely.

SB 476 was introduced last fall by Sen. Wayne Schmidt and progressed quickly through the Michigan State Senate, passing on Dec. 10 with a 38-0 vote.

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Now, the proposal heads to the state House of Representatives, where it currently sits with the House Appropriations Committee awaiting a vote after getting its first hearing on Feb. 3.

The difference for cigars smokers would be significant: as it currently stands, a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 costs $10.50 at the register by halfwheel estimates. Should the cap expire and the rate return to 32% of the wholesale price, that cigar would then cost $12.54, an increase of more than two dollars.

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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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