State economy to get big jolt with proposed new tax on cigarettes, study finds (CA)
According to a new analysis from the University of California, San Francisco, a California ballot initiative to increase the cigarette tax by $1 per pack would create 12,000 new jobs and approximately $2 billion in new economic activity in California. People will smoke less and send less money out of state, because currently 80% of money spent on tobacco products is exported to out-of-state tobacco manufacturers and farmers. The tax increase would also give the state $855 million per year for antismoking education programs, research, and tobacco law enforcement. Click here to read more.
Legislator takes another stab at closing tobacco company's tax 'loophole' (FL)
A Florida senator has introduced a bill aimed at making tobacco companies that were not part of the 1997 Florida Tobacco Settlement Agreement pay the same taxes and fees as tobacco companies who were included in the settlement agreement. If the bill were to be implemented, the taxes and fees collected would fund health and human services programs in Florida. The bill’s sponsor believes the state may be losing up to $200 million per year due to the current exemption. Dosal, a Miami-based tobacco company that has been thus far exempt from taxes and fees, believes they should not have to pay because they were not guilty of manipulating the nicotine content of cigarettes that triggered country-wide lawsuits in the 1990s. Senate Bill 1414 currently does not have a House sponsor, and it is unclear if the bill will be heard in this legislative session. Click here to read more and click here to track SB1414.
Bill could put tax on 'roll-your-own' cigarettes (SD)
A bill has been introduced in South Dakota that would categorize stores that have roll-your-own cigarette machines as being cigarette manufacturers, thus taxing the roll-your-own cigarette sales at a higher rate. Tobacco store owners do not believe they should be taxed at a higher rate, as their role in manufacturing cigarettes is limited. Representative Charlie Hoffman, a sponsor of the bill, says the intent behind the bill is to put the price of bulk tobacco that can be bought in the shops on par with prices of manufactured cigarettes, not specifically to penalize use of the roll-your-own cigarette machines. Read more by clicking here, and track House Bill 1138, which is being reviewed in the Senate, by clicking here.
WV Senate committee moves roll-your-own cigarette tax bill (WV)
West Virginia Senator Dan Foster has proposed a bill that would classify roll-your-own cigarette shops as cigarette manufacturers and therefore require them to pay state excise tax. This bill could generate between $500,000 and $750,000 in revenue for the state. Foster hopes this bill would decrease the smoking prevalence and reduce the amount of money the state spends on tobacco-related illnesses. The bill will be debated by the Senate Finance Committee before it can be heard by the full Senate. Click here to read more and click here to track SB514.
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