On Thursday, the Wyoming Senate approved SF0042, a bill that would reduce the cost of cigars by implanting a cap of 30 cents per cigar to the current tax rate of 20 percent.

What that means for consumers is that a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 would go from costing $11.40 before sales tax to costing $10.10, by halfwheel estimates, which are based on industry-standard mark ups. The tax cap would benefit any cigar with an MSRP of more than $3 and the more expensive the cigar is, the better the savings would be if the bill becomes law.

The tax cap would only apply to “premium cigars,” which are defined as cigars that have a whole leaf wrapper, are rolled by hand, and do not have a filter or non-tobacco tip.

“This is a significant win for cigar enthusiasts and small business owners in Wyoming,” said Glynn Loope, director of state advocacy for the Premium Cigar Association of America (PCA). “The taxes on cigars have long been a burden on the industry, and this measure will go a long way in helping to level the playing field for premium cigar retailers and their patrons in the state.”

Loope, along with Donovan Short, owner of Casper Cigar Co in Caper, Wyoming, both testified in support of the bill before the Senate Revenue Committee ahead of the full Senate vote.

The Senate passed the bill with a 26-5 vote, sending it to the Wyoming House of Representatives for that chamber to debate.

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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 previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.