Washington State House: Roll-Your-Own Cigarettes Must Be Taxed - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington State House: Roll-Your-Own Cigarettes Must Be Taxed

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Washington state House has passed a bill to make roll-your-own cigarette stores collect cigarette taxes.

The measure passed Tuesday by a 67-30 vote and goes to the Senate. Dozens of roll-your-own cigarette stores have appeared recently in Washington, selling cigarettes at less than half the price offered by most retailers. The stores allow customers to use machines that roll loose tobacco into cigarettes that are then sold by the carton.

The state tax per cigarette stands at 15 cents. Bill proponents said the measure would help small businesses hurt by competitors who avoid collecting taxes.

Opponents said it would undermine 65 stores employing 250 people across the state. Because the bill enforces an existing tax rather than create a new one, it does not require a two-thirds majority to pass each chamber.

      
      (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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