Tobacco Tax Hike Barely Defeated in California

It appears the price of cigars in California will remain the same as voters yesterday narrowly defeated Proposition 29, an initiative that called for the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products to be raised considerably.

As of this morning, the tally showed that 50.8 percent of the people voted ‘No’ on Proposition 29, while 49.2 percent voted ‘Yes’ in favor of passing the initiative. While all of the precincts in the state have reported, the results are not considered official until all provisional and absentee ballots are counted.

Proposition 29, or the California Cancer Research Act, sought to increase not only the tax on cigarettes by $1 per pack, but also the excise tax on cigars and other tobacco products from 31.73 percent of the wholesale cost to 54.89 percent. A cigar with a suggested retail price of $8 taxed at $1.20 under the current law would have seen its tax rise to $2.19 under Proposition 29.

"My fun anti-cigarette-taxation song video is here: (No upload or broadcast encumbrances.) If You're Not Buying Cigarettes, then... What Kind of Citizen ARE You?" —June 7, 2012 15:54 PM