Last week, lawmakers in the U.S. introduced the CARE For Moms Act in Congress. That bill would increase healthcare for expecting and new mothers, while also exponentially increasing the taxes for vaping, roll-your-own, cigars and other tobacco products.
The tobacco tax language in the CARE Act was copied and pasted out of the Tobacco Tax Equity Act, a bill that has been introduced as a rider in bills introduced in previous sessions of Congress but it failed to gain any traction, according to halfwheel.
That could change after Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Dick Durbin have now introduced the Tobacco Tax Equity Act of 2023 in the Senate as a standalone bill, while Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.
The tobacco tax-related language includes:
- New taxes for e-cigarettes;
- Doubling the tax on roll-your-own tobacco;
- A more than 16x increase on pipe tobacco;
- Doubling the tax on small cigars;
- A massive tax hike for premium cigars;
For premium cigars, the language removes the existing federal excise tax of 52.75 percent, capped at 40.26 cents per cigar, and replaces it with a weight-based tax of $49.56 per pound.
Because it’s a weight-based tax, the difference between the existing tax and the new taxes would vary depending on how heavy the cigar is. For cigars robusto or larger, it would likely more than triple the current federal tax rate.