Tobacco talk
Grocers' group right to be concerned

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: September 13, 2006
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Ho
wever, some tribal retailers have been shipping cigarettes with 6-cent stamps to stores away from the border, resulting in far less tax revenue being generated than was expected. Figures from the Oklahoma Tax Commission show tribal tax revenue in August totaled just $1.9 million on the sale of more than 12 million packs. Nontribal revenue was $15.8 million on 15.6 million packs sold. Since the tax went into effect, nontribal retailers have accounted for 88 percent of the tax revenue generated.

"All we want is a level playing field," a lobbyist for the grocers said this week. The state has taken some steps, such as enacting rules designed to curb the number of 6-cent stamps. But as the revenue figures plainly show, more must be done.

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