ND measure would bump tax for pack of cigarettes

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm •  Published: January 29, 2013
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"The low tax results in inexpensive tobacco that is affordable to you and populations with limited incomes and high smoking rates," Prom said.

Also Tuesday, several North Dakota cigarette distributers opposed a second measure to place tax stamps on cigarettes.

North Dakota, North Carolina and South Carolina are the only states that do not require a tax stamp on a pack of cigarettes, said Steve Grimaldi, director of security for by Reynolds American Inc., which owns the nation's second-biggest tobacco company, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

"The lack of a tax stamp combined with the relatively low price of cigarettes ... makes North Dakota a target state for those individuals and organizations engaged in trafficking black market cigarettes," Grimaldi told lawmakers.

He said his company estimates that as much as a third of the cigarettes sold in North Dakota, about 17 million packs a year, "are likely being exported to other states."

John Job, a spokesman for a Bismarck-based cigarette distributor, said the machinery and training necessary to place tax stamps on cigarette is expensive for companies.

"Without any way to recoup our costs, I view it as a tax on our industry," he told the committee, which took no action on the proposed legislation.

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Follow James MacPherson on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/macphersonja.

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