New Hampshire: House Bill 1159, which modifies the definition of tobacco products (to include smokeless cigarettes) applicable to retail licensing provisions, will be on the Executive Session calendar for October 26, 2016.
Pennsylvania: House Bill 2342, which changes the tax on electronic cigarettes from 40% of the wholesale price to 5 cents per fluid milliliter of "consumable product," was passed by the House Finance Committee on September 27, 2016.
With Election Day less than four weeks away, California retail members, their employees and customers are urged to vote “No” on Proposition 56. This ballot question titled Proposition 56 would increase the California cigarette tax rate by $2.00 per pack and increase the tax rate on other tobacco products proportionately in line with the higher cigarette tax.
The reasons to vote “No” on Proposition 56 include the following:
- Proposition 56 would raise up to $1.4 billion in new tobacco tax revenue, a huge tax increase on a minority of the adult population that purchases tobacco products.
- Proposition 56 allocates just 13% of the new tobacco tax revenue to help smokers quit or keep underage individuals from starting to use tobacco products.
- Proposition 56 diverts up to $600 million per year from the state’s schools. California’s Constitution requires that schools receive at least 43% of any new tax increase revenue. However, Proposition 56 was written to undermine this constitutional funding guarantee, allowing hundreds of millions of dollars a year that would otherwise go to schools to instead be diverted to health insurance companies and other special interest groups.
- Proposition 56 increases insurance company profits because they are not required to accept additional Medi-Cal patients and are allowed, along with health care providers, to keep 82% of the new tobacco tax revenue.
- Proposition 56 has virtually no taxpayer accountability for how health insurance companies and other health care providers spend the new tobacco tax revenue, nor are health insurance companies subject to the new audits that Proposition 56 requires.
For more information on this ballot question, visit www.NoOnProposition56.com.
On Tuesday, November 8th, Colorado retailers, their employees and adult customers are urged to go to the polls and vote “No” on Amendment 72. This amendment to the Colorado state constitution would increase the Colorado cigarette tax by $1.75 per pack from the current $.84 per pack to $2.59 per pack and raise the excise tax on other tobacco products by another 22% of the manufacturer’s list price.
The facts about Amendment 72 are as follows:
- Amendment 72 raises tobacco taxes by $315 million per year, but dedicates less than 20% of the new tax money to smoking prevention.
- More than half of the new tobacco tax revenue generated by Amendment 72 would be earmarked for programs that have not yet been determined yet and 27% of the funds would go for grants with no established guidelines. This massive tax increase gives state agencies a blank check to spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year with only vague direction and little oversight.
- Colorado has received more than $1.6 billion from tobacco manufacturers under the Master Settlement Agreement that could be used for tobacco prevention and treatment, but the state has spent most of that revenue on unrelated government programs. Instead of raising tobacco taxes, Colorado should stop diverting these funds to unrelated programs and spend the revenue on helping people stop smoking and keeping underage youth from starting.
For more information on Amendment 72, visit www.NoOnAmendment72.com.
On Election Day this coming November 8th, North Dakota retailers, their employees and adult customers are urged to go to the polls and vote “No” on Amendment 72. This ballot question would raise the North Dakota state cigarette tax by $1.76 per pack from the current $.44 per pack to $2.20 per pack and raise the tax on other tobacco products from 28% to 56% of the wholesale price.
There are a number of reasons to vote “No” on Measure 4 including the following:
- Measure 4 is a 400% tobacco tax increase that gives elected officials unrestricted access to the new tax revenue and benefits those groups and organizations supporting the tax increases. Very little of the new tax money would be dedicated to anti-smoking programs. Rather, millions of dollars would be set aside with little detail over how those millions will be spent.
- Measure 4 would raise up to $70 million per year from the new tobacco taxes, and only 5% would be actually dedicated toward health care detection, prevention, treatment and control. The other 95% of the new tobacco tax revenue would fund other government programs.
- Measure 4 locks in the new spending of the tobacco tax revenue for seven years. This means it would be extremely difficult for the North Dakota legislature to change the appropriation of the tobacco tax revenue, except by a two-thirds vote of the legislature, even if there is waste and fraud.
- North Dakota already ranks #1 in the country for spending on tobacco prevention, and the state’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Committee has a $55.3 million surplus. This tax increase is not needed.
For more information on Measure 4, visit www.VoteNoOn4ND.com.
California: Senate Bill 1333, which prohibits smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes, in state coastal beaches and state parks, except as a movie or television prop, was set for a December 5, 2016 override vote on the Governor’s recent veto of the bill.
Pennsylvania: Senate Bill 1362, which extends the time by which the tobacco products floor tax must be paid from 90 days to 180 days after the tax effective date tax (October 1, 2016), was reported out of the Senate Finance Committee on September 27, 2016. Also, Senate Bill 1373 was introduced and would change the excise tax on electronic cigarettes, scheduled to be effective October 1, 2016, from 40% of the wholesale price to 5 cents per fluid milliliter of consumable product.