Wyoming Eyes Tobacco Tax Increase

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While a proposal to raise the tobacco tax in Wyoming failed earlier this year, state legislators are once again turning the idea to close a budget shortfall and reduce usage.

Earlier this week, the members of the Joint Labor, Health & Social Services Interim Committee recommended an increase in tobacco tax, though a specific amount was not named, according to the Casper Star TribuneCurrently, Wyoming’s cigarette tax of 60 cents per pack is well below the national average of $1.58, while the state’s 20.6% smoking rate is higher than the national average of 17.8%. The state’s cigar tax currently sits at 20% of the wholesale price, though it’s expected that would go up as well as part of the increase.

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The committee hopes that the increase will be significant enough to motivate people to stop smoking, but it also acknowledges that the increased revenue will be used to fund a number of state programs that receive payments and interest from the Tobacco Settlement Trust Income Account. The report cites an estimated $14.6 million shortfall in 2018, which a tax increase would help close.

The committee’s recommendation, along with one from the Labor & Health Committee, now heads to the Joint Revenue Committee who will decide whether or not to draft a bill seeking an increase in the tobacco tax.

 

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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.

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