West Virginia’s tax on cigars and other tobacco products could be increasing, again.
Last July, the tax was increased from 7 to 12 percent of the whole price of other tobacco products and now it could increase to 17 percent.
S.B. 677 would increase the tax on cigars to 17 percent of the wholesale price, impose an additional 50 cent per pack tax on cigarettes and increase the tax on vapor products from 7.5 cents per milliliter to 10.5 per milliliter. If approved, the new taxes would go into effect July 1, 2017—exactly one year after the last round of tax hikes went into effect.
If passed, a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 would retail for $11.12 according to halfwheel estimates. That cigar currently costs around $10.64 before sales tax and was likely around $10.17 prior to the July 2016 tax hike.
West Virginia has a budget shortfall estimated at a half billion dollars.