Rhode Island’s governor is looking to make cigars a bit more expensive in her recently released FY 2020 budget proposal.

Like she did in 2018, Gov. Gina Raimondo is looking to raise the tax cap on premium cigars from 50 cents to 80 cents per cigar. In the case of of a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50, that would boost the cost at the register from $10.50 to $11.10 by halfwheel estimates.

Cigars are the only thing to be selected for a tax increase; the governor is once again calling for a 25-cent per pack increase in the cigarette tax that would raise it to $4.50. Additionally, the state’s tax rate of 40 percent of the wholesale price would be applied to electronic nicotine delivery systems such as e-cigarettes or vaping devices. According to an executive summary of the budget, the changes are expected to generate revenues of $4.6 million.

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.