- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Smokers of premium cigars could come away from Minnesota’s legislative session facing lower taxes.

Bills generating debate at the Capitol would roll back an add-on tax that can go as high as $3.50 on high-end cigars. The new cap would be 50 cents.

St. Paul cigar store owner Mark Wolk says the change would give people one less reason to shop online for their cigars to avoid the region’s highest tax.

The change would cost the state treasury more than $1 million per year.

Anti-smoking activist Janelle Waldock testified Wednesday against a lower cigar tax. She argues cigars are no less addictive or harmful to health than cigarettes and says higher costs discourage use.

The measure could wind up in wide-ranging tax bills being developed in the Senate and House.

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