Over the weekend, the Rhode Island legislature and governor hammered out the final version of the state’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, with a proposed increase to the state’s cigar tax cap left on the cutting room floor.

An initial proposal by the governor would have raised the cap from 50 to 80 cents per cigar, while the tax on little and cigar cigarettes would increase from $4.25 to $4.50 per pack and add e-cigarettes would be subject to the tax on other tobacco products.

Rhode Island has a tax rate of 80 percent of the wholesale price on what are referred to as “other tobacco products,” a group that includes premium cigars and snuff. In the case of a cigar with a suggested retail price of $9.50, a consumer would pay $10.50 at the register—before any sales taxes were added—with the 50 cent cap. Had the increase been kept in the budget proposal, that cost would have gone up to $11.10, by halfwheel estimates.

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.