This week, a bill in the Mississippi House of Representatives seeking to raise the tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes died in committee.

The bill, HB 892, was sponsored by Rep. Bob Evans, D-91, who has been seeking an increase to the tobacco tax for several years. Once again this session, his colleagues did not share his support for such an idea, as its progress was halted in the House Ways and Means Committee, the first committee to discuss the bill after its introduction in January.

Evans’ proposal sought to increase the tax rate to all tobacco products—other than cigarettes—from 15 percent of the wholesale price to 22.5 percent of the wholesale price. In the case of a premium cigar with an MSRP of $9.50, the change would have resulted in an increase of the sticker price from $10.93 to $11.64, by halfwheel estimates.

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.