OLYMPIA – June 29, 2012 – Retailers operating machines that allow their customers to roll their own cigarettes must begin affixing cigarette tax stamps to those products beginning July 1.
Although a Franklin County Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction earlier this week barring the state from collecting the tax, it was contingent on the plaintiffs filing a $200,000 bond to protect the state’s interest should the state ultimately prevail.
The plaintiffs stated in a brief to the Supreme Court today that they do not intend to post the bond at this time due to pending federal legislation that would define the operators of roll-your-own cigarette machines as manufacturers requiring federal permits.
The plaintiffs reserved the right to post bond at a later date, which would trigger the injunction unless the Supreme Court issues a stay to the injunction that the state requested on Thursday.
At issue is legislation that the state contends simply provides a more effective enforcement mechanism to prevent evasion of taxes that are already due on all cigarettes. The plaintiffs in the case contend it is a new tax subject to a two-thirds vote of the Legislature under Initiative 1053.
More information on the issue is available at http://dor.wa.gov/RYO.
# # #