A bill introduced into the West Virginia Senate is seeking a pair of tobacco tax increases, first on cigarettes from $0.55 to $1.55 per pack, and then on other tobacco products such as premium cigars from 7 percent to 10.5 percent of the wholesale price.
While it may seem like a small jump, the increase would certainly be noticed by consumers at the register, as a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 would go from costing approximately $10;17 to costing $10.50, and that’s before sales taxes are applied. The bill, SB 98, is being sponsored by Sen. Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson, 04).
Shortly after its introduction on Jan. 14, it was referred to the Senate Finance Committee where it awaits further action.
A more drastic increase proposed last year by Del. Don Perdue (D-Wayne, 19) sought a an increase from 7 percent to 50 percent of the wholesale price. It didn’t make it out of the House Health and Human Resources Committee.