A Mississippi state representative has introduced a pair of bills to the state house that would institute across the board tax increases on all tobacco products sold in the state.

Rep. Bob Evans (D-91) brought House Bills 1250 and 1251 to the floor on January 20, the same day they were both referred to the House’s Ways and Means Committee, a committee that Evans does not sit on.

HB 1250 would impose an excise tax on cigarettes of $0.059 per single unit sold, a move that would increase the per-pack tax from $0.68 to $1.18.

HB 1251 would institute higher taxes on all other tobacco products, including cigars, which are all currently taxed at a rate of 15% of the manufacturer’s price. Rep. Evans’ proposal would increase that rate to 22.5%.

If passed, both measures would go into effect on July 1, 2014.

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.