A new bill in the Pennsylvania Senate could change the way cigars are taxed in the state.
Under S.B. 1292, cigars would be taxed at 3.6 cents per cigar, but only if they are sold within the state. There is a clear exemption to protect mail order businesses. Any cigars “exported from (Pennsylvania)” would be exempt from the tax.
The bill had bipartisan support from 12 Senators.
Currently, Pennsylvania, Florida and New Hampshire are the only states without any tax on cigars. It’s one of the reasons why Cigars International, Famous Smoke Shop and Holt’s—three of the largest retailers in the world—call the commonwealth home.
It’s the third effort made this year that would impose taxes on cigars in Pennsylvania. Earlier this year, a proposed budget change would have introduced an OTP tax in the state. In addition, HB 926 called for a 25 percent wholesale tax on cigars.
In addition, legislation has been introduced that would ban smoking at cigar stores.
With the exception of Florida, no state will see as vigorous of a fight over any legislation that will affect cigars as Pennsylvania. Cigars International and Famous Smoke Shop each employ over a hundred employees.