A proposal from state Rep. Matt Hall helping save a key component of Michigan’s retail industry is now law.
House Bill 4485, now Public Act 102 of 2021, is a rare tax cut signed by the governor that Hall worked through the legislative process. The law addresses taxes that would negatively impact local and family-owned cigar shops – a pivotal piece of the state’s small business sector. A 2012 law placed a 50-cent cap on the sale of premium cigars to help reign in out-of-control taxes that hurt sellers. The cap had expired Oct. 1, but Hall’s plan makes it permanent.
“The tax would have increased to 32 percent of the wholesale price without this legislation. That would have meant an increase of three or four dollars per cigar, and people going elsewhere to buy them,” said Hall, of Marshall, who chairs the House Tax Policy Committee. “No business can survive a 600- or 700-percent increase in the cost of their products. Small businesses like these have gone through incredible hardship as they were shut down through orders from the Department of Health and Human Services. They would have likely gone under had we not fought to get them back open, and I have continued to fight for them with critical tax relief that will help keep them on their feet.”
The legislation was supported by the Michigan Retailers Association. As the bill moved through the House Tax Policy Committee, Hall noted premium cigar sales increased in the state in 2012 when the cap was originally put in place – and establishing it permanently will allow Michigan shops and lounges to be competitive. Testimony on the legislation disclosed tax revenue also increased 30 percent after the cap was implemented.
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