Senate Approves ‘Roll-Your-Own’ Tax Bill

The Senate has approved legislation that would increase taxes on cigarettes made with “roll-your-own” machines to more closely align with taxes on packaged cigarettes.
The sponsor of SB1738, Republican Sen. Jack Johnson of Franklin, said it is a “matter of simple fairness” to the manufacturers and sellers of regular cigarettes. As things stand now, he said, a 10-pack carton of roll-your-own cigarettes, processed in about eight minutes with a machine, goes for about $25 compared to about $50 for manufactured cigarettes.
Much of the Senate floor debate was devoted to when the proposed new law – which still needs House approval — should take effect. Ultimately, the senators settled on July 1, 2013. The bill was then approved 25-5.
Johnson said the delay would allow businesses owning the cigarette processing machines – 85 of them statewide at last count – a reasonable time to prepare for compliance with the change in law.

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