Louisiana Rejects Premium Cigar Tax Hike

The premium cigar tax in Louisiana will remain the same after lawmakers there last week rejected an amendment on an existing cigarette tax bill that sought to also raise the tax on premium cigars.

Filed by Rep. Harold Ritchie (D-District 75), House Bill 119 included an amendment that had been tacked on by the Senate Finance Committee that would have raised the current 20 percent premium cigar tax to 25 percent if it was passed. However, after a last-minute lobbying effort by the Cigar Association of America and the International Premium Cigars & Pipe Retailers association last week, a legislative Conference Committee removed the amendment from the final version of the bill.

The Conference Committee also excluded a tax hike on cheaper, bundle cigars as well as snuff, and roll-your-own and chewing tobacco. The final version of HB 119 still includes language that will boost the cigarette tax by 50 cents.

The bill now awaits Gov. Bobby Jindal's signature, who is expected to sign it into law this week.