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.


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.