A bill in the Louisiana State Legislature that would have allowed Orleans Parish to charge an additional tax on cigars failed by a 6-7 vote in the House Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee on Wednesday afternoon.

House Bill 1120, which was introduced by State Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans, would have allowed the parish to tack on an 80-cent tax to the sale of each tobacco product, with estimates that it would have generated upwards of $27 million per year in additional revenue that would have been used to broadly fund projects and policies under the direction of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his administration.

Landrieu has sought tax increases in two additional areas, including a 1.75 increase in the occupancy tax rates on hotels and motels in New Orleans, as well as a 1 mill increase on property taxes to fund pay for fire and police workers. The hotel tax passed the committee and now heads to the house floor, while the property tax bill is scheduled for a vote on Thursday.


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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.