A proposal for an across-the-board raise on the tax rate on tobacco products in Wyoming died this morning, as the House Revenue Committee voted 8-1 against the proposal.

House Bill 173, introduced by Rep. Elaine Harvey, R-Lovell, sought to increase the tax on premium cigars and other tobacco products, excluding cigarettes and moist snuff, from 20% to 46% of the wholesale price. Had the bill passed, the tax on cigarettes would have gone from $0.60 to $1.25 per pack.

Harvey tried to play the proposal off as a usage fee, not a tax increase, according to a report from the Casper Star Tribune. Financial projections submitted with the bill suggested that it would bring in upwards of $21 million for the state, with $4 million directed to tobacco prevention, cessation and treatment, and the rest to the state’s Medicaid program.

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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.