State Cigarette and Tobacco Tax Update

Published in Tobacco E-News

By  Thomas A. Briant, Executive Director

Ten additional states have had bills introduced or taken action on pending legislation to increase or decrease cigarette and/or tobacco tax rates. An update on the legislative action in these 10 states is listed below. Please note that this update does not include unofficial media announcements that various state governors may propose to raise cigarette and/or tobacco tax rates as a part of a state budget plan.

Alabama: House Bill No. 15 would increase the cigarette tax from 42.5 cents per pack to 75 cents per pack and House Bill No. 177 would raise the cigarette tax to $1.425 per pack.

Kentucky: House Bill No. 142 would increase the tax on other tobacco products from 15% to 40% of the wholesale price.

Maryland: Senate Bill No. 700 and House Bill No. 683 would raise the tax on other tobacco products from 30% to 95% of the wholesale price provided that cigars with a wholesale price of less than $20 per cigar will be taxed at 95% with a cap of $3.00 per cigar, cigars with a wholesale price of more than $20 per cigar will be taxed at 15%, little cigars will be taxed at a rate of $3.00 per pack of 20, moist snuff will be taxed at 95% or $3.00 per 1.2 ounce container (whichever is greater), single-dose smokeless tobacco will be taxed at 95% or 15 cents per dose (whichever is greater), and roll-your-own tobacco will be taxed at 95% or $3.00 per .65 ounces (whichever is greater). Senate Bill No. 823 and House Bill No. 683 would increase the cigarette tax by $1.00 per pack to a new rate of $3.00 per pack.

Nebraska: Legislative Bill No. 439 would raise the cigarette tax from $.64 per pack to $1.36 per pack.

New Hampshire: House Bill No. 659 would increase the cigarette tax by $.20 per pack to a new rate of $1.88 per pack.

New York: Senate Bill No. 3193 would raise the cigarette tax from $4.35 per pack to $6.00 per pack.

New Mexico: House Bill No. 428 would raise the tax on other tobacco products from 25% to 53% of the wholesale price.

North Dakota: House Bill No. 1387 that would have raised the cigarette tax from $.44 per pack to $1.00 per pack failed to pass the House.

Tennessee: House Bill No. 888 would decrease the cigarette tax by 20 cents per pack from 62 cents to 42 cents on July 1, 2013, reduce the cigarette tax by 20 more cents per pack on July 1, 2014 and eliminate the cigarette tax completely on July 2, 2015. The bill would also phase out the tax on other tobacco products over a six-year period with the tax completely eliminated as of July 1, 2018.

Virginia:  House Bill No. 2332 that would have changed the method of taxation on moist snuff and loose leaf tobacco from a weight-based tax to 5% of the retail sales price died in committee.