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Utah Lawmakers to Fix Cigar Taxes

Utah

Finally Utah lawmakers finally are seeing the light.

Lawmakers took a first step Monday toward creating a tax break for smokers who buy expensive, premium cigars — arguing it would help end bootlegging by smokers who try to escape Utah’s nearly highest-in-the-nation tobacco taxes according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

“The vast majority of cigars, it is believed, are purchased either on the Internet or across state lines because of the onerous tax we have in this state,” Greene said, noting premium cigars cost half as much in neighboring states because of the Utah tax.

The state had nearly the highest tax rate in the country, 86 percent tax on the retail price of cigars. This bill, if passed, would cut the rate to 50 cents per cigar.

This is still higher than Pennsylvania, which has a zero tax rate on Cigars. Some Utah lawmakers clearly see that sending the tax rate though the roof didn’t have the affect they wanted as everyone just ran to online retailers or ran across the Utah border to purchase cigars at more reasonable rates. This means that clearly the Utah tax code regarding cigars needed some fix, as it was such a high rate that people all but halted paying it and instead fled the state when purchasing cigars.

Hopefully reasonable heads will prevail country wide when it comes to Cigars and Taxes.