A group of Wyoming state legislators is seeking to nearly triple the state’s tax on cigars while raising the tax on all other tobacco products as well.
On Tuesday, H.B. 218 was introduced by Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-43, along with three co-sponsors: Rep. Bob Nicholas, R-08, and Sens. Stephen Pappas, R-07, and Charles Scott, R-30. Currently, Wyoming taxes cigars at 20 percent of the wholesale price, meaning that a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 costs $11.40 before sales taxes, by halfwheel estimates. However, the bill seeks to raise that rate to 53 1/3 percent of the wholesale price, meaning that same cigar would jump to $14.57, again by halfwheel estimates.
It would also give Wyoming the fourth highest cigar tax rate in the country behind Utah, Alaska and California.
In addition to the increase in the cigar tax, the bill is seeking to raise the cigarette tax by a dollar per pack to $1.60, while the tax on moist snuff would also go up by one dollar per ounce. The money raised by the increase in the cigarette tax would be split between the state’s general fund and cities, towns and counties based on sales made within each. A fiscal note attached to the bill says those numbers would be approximately $22.7 million per year to the general fund and approximately $4 million per year to local governments.
Should the increase pass, it would go into effect on July 1. It is currently waiting a committee assignment.