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.