Legislation

Chicago Mayor Proposes Tougher Cigar Laws

Jan 19, 2016 | By Andrew Nagy
Chicago Mayor Proposes Tougher Cigar Laws

Windy city cigar lovers could be facing a new cigar tax after Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed a series of tobacco-related measures at a City Council meeting last Wednesday. Additionally, Emanuel's proposal, dubbed the "Chicago Other Tobacco Products Tax Ordinance," includes language that seeks to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old.

Emanuel is focusing not on cigarettes, but on other tobacco products, a tobacco tax category that includes premium cigars, other cigars, pipe and rolling tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. The proposal would levy a 90 cent tax hike on premium cigars; a 15 cent tax increase on little cigars; a new $6.60-per-ounce tax on roll-your-own tobacco and a tax of $1.80 per ounce on smokeless tobacco.

The current Illinois state excise tax on premium cigars is 36 percent. Cook County, where Chicago is located, also imposes a 30 cent tax on premium cigars. After speaking with a retailer in Chicago, it's unclear whether the 90 cent tax Emanuel wants will be added after state and city sales tax (10.5 percent) are applied, or before. In general, though, an $8.00 cigar that sells for nearly $11 now will jump up to around $12 should the Emanuel tax be passed.

Emanuel's proposal comes only months after he pushed a city budget through that included a record $755 million in new taxes and fees. The mayor estimates the new tax would bring in an additional $6 million, which would be used to fund a one-week summer transition program for all incoming Chicago Public School freshmen and a summer remediation program for at-risk eighth graders.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for February 10.

Tax
"Excellent news for the independent Brick and Mortar businesses, given the plethora of adults in the windy city whom responsibly enjoy premium cigars and pipes." —January 21, 2016 13:46 PM

More in Legislation

See all
Anti-Smoking Bill That Would Ban Catalog and Internet Sales of Tobacco Passes Subcommittee

Anti-Smoking Bill That Would Ban Catalog and Internet Sales of Tobacco Passes Subcommittee

Today in Washington, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee passed H.R. 2339, …

Nov 13, 2019
Trump Nominates Cancer Specialist to Head FDA

Trump Nominates Cancer Specialist to Head FDA

Dr. Stephen Hahn has been tapped by Trump to lead the government agency that oversees tobacco …

Nov 1, 2019
Cigar Industry Argues FDA Warnings in Appeals Court

Cigar Industry Argues FDA Warnings in Appeals Court

The cigar industry earlier today argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington D.C. Circuit, …

Oct 29, 2019
Proposal That Would Have Increased Cigar Taxes Defeated

Proposal That Would Have Increased Cigar Taxes Defeated

A bill introduced last month that sought to dramatically increase the federal tax on premium cigars …

Oct 25, 2019
Justice Department Appeals Judge’s Decision to Shorten Product Approval Deadline

Justice Department Appeals Judge’s Decision to Shorten Product Approval Deadline

Today, the Department of Justice filed an appeal on behalf of the Food and Drug Administration that …

Oct 24, 2019
Judge Declines to Extend Substantial Equivalence Deadline to Cigar Industry

Judge Declines to Extend Substantial Equivalence Deadline to Cigar Industry

A judge in Washington D.C. has denied the cigar industry’s request to extend the deadline for a key …

Oct 21, 2019