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AP: Washington Supreme Court puts injunction against roll-your-own-smokes tax on hold

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on June 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm with No Comments »
June 29, 2012 5:19 pm

That means the injunction will not take effect and the state can start collecting the higher taxes on the roll-your-own stores around the state.

By collecting the higher cigarettes taxes (versus the lower tax on pipe tobacco used the in the ryo process) the state will boost the price for those smokes to just a few dollars lower than regular cigarettes. The small industry has argued that the higher tax rate will put them out of business and had convinced a Franklin County judge to stop enforcement. They argued, and the judge agreed, that the change was a tax hike and therefore demanded a two-thirds vote for approval.

Here is the AP story:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Supreme Court is allowing state officials to collect taxes for roll-your-own cigarettes.

The court issued a temporary stay Friday night, blocking a lower court ruling that had prohibited the state from collecting the tax starting on July 1. The Supreme Court’s ruling will remain in place until it issues a more permanent ruling after considering the issue on July 10.

Opponents of the law contend that the tax should have been approved by two-thirds of state lawmakers because of a voter-approved initiative. State officials say the law is not a new tax but a mechanism to stop people from evading the cigarette tax.

The state estimates that the law is supposed to help bring in between $12 million and $55 million per year.

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