Small cigars likely to face cigarette tax
CONCORD – The House of Representatives and state Senate have each approved legislation that would make "small cigars" subject to the state tax on cigarettes.
Cigars are exempt from the state's tobacco tax. Advocates for this bill (HB 1309) pointed out cigarillos are roughly the same size and quantity of tobacco and are wrapped in paper just as cigarettes are.
"This bill is about tax parity," said Sen. Robert Odell, R-Lempster, holding up packs of the two products.
Some estimate closing this loophole could raise as much as $500,000 a year.
The bill has already passed the House of Representatives in a slightly different form.
Senate Republican Leader Ted Gatsas, of Manchester, said imposing the tax will fall hardest on distributors because these untaxed packs do not fit into cigarette machines.
Two years ago, the Legislature took away a $1 million-a-year benefit the tobacco wholesalers to cover the cost of attaching and collecting cigarette tax revenue.
Source: Nashua Telegraph