Since 2013, smokers in Omaha have been paying an additional three percent tax on their tobacco. While that tax had a sunset clause of 2022, this week the city council decided to extend it indefinitely.

This week, the Omaha City Council removed the sunset date as part of a number of changes that will see a new tax enacted on electronic cigarettes and vaping devices. However, according to a report by Omaha.com, it was not without debate and was something the council had not planned on taking up going into the meeting. There are also remains a debate about what all will be done with the monies raised, a decision that will be left up to the mayor, subject to council approval.

The city’s tax is added before any sales tax is added, and is in addition to the state’s tax rate of 20 percent of the wholesale price.

The council approved the city’s own tobacco tax in 2012 as a way to support construction of the new cancer center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Omaha is home to just over 468,000 residents.

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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 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.