Washington ~ Tobacco Tax: State Supreme Court Grants Temporary Stay; Tax on Roll-Your-Own Cigarettes Takes Effect

The Washington Department of Revenue has announced that retailers operating machines that allow their customers to roll their own cigarettes must begin affixing cigarette tax stamps to those products beginning July 1. On June 29, the Washington Supreme Court issued a temporary stay of a pending lower court preliminary injunction that would have prevented the new roll-your-own cigarette tax law from taking effect. (Ch. 4 (H.B. 2565), Laws 2012, 1st Special Session) The Supreme Court will consider a more permanent stay on July 10. The state contends that H.B. 2565 simply provides a more effective enforcement mechanism to prevent evasion of taxes that are already due on all cigarettes. The plaintiffs contend, however, that the legislation creates a new tax subject to a two-thirds vote of the Legislature under Initiative 1053.

News Release, Washington Department of Revenue, June 29, 2012



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