A bill introduced into the Mississippi House of Representatives this week is seeking to raise the state’s tobacco taxes from 15 percent of the wholesale price to 22.5 percent.

HB 892, which is sponsored by Rep. Bob Evans, D-91, would increase the tax rate to all tobacco products that are not cigarettes. In the case of a premium cigar with an MSRP of $9.50, the change would be an increase of the sticker price from $10.93 to $11.64, by halfwheel estimates.

Evans has been pushing for an increase to the tobacco tax for several years, though he has yet to find support for the proposal among a significant number of his colleagues. A bill proposed in early 2021 seeking to raise the rate to 25 percent failed to advance out of a Senate committee.

The bill has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee for debate and consideration. If approved and signed into law, the increase would go into effect on July 1, 2022.

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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 previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.