Skip to comments.Amendment to highway bill sideswipes Little Tobacco
Posted on 03/18/2012 6:01:05 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Nobody mentioned tobacco last week when the U.S. Senate adopted an amendment to the $109 billion federal highway bill.
But tucked into the 5,600-word amendment to provide aid for rural schools was a single paragraph that would settle a two-year-old fight between Big Tobacco and a small Ohio company that builds a do-it-yourself machine that allows smokers to get their cigarettes a lot cheaper.
The amendment would reclassify tobacco shops that offer the machines as tobacco manufacturers, imposing on them new regulations and higher taxes, and it opens a window into the ways of Washington, where the powerful and the connected can sometimes win even before the opposition knows the game is underway.
This is catastrophic, was the response of Phil Accordino, whose tiny company builds the roll-your-own cigarette machines in Girard, Ohio, when he heard of the Senate action. Word arrived in Ohio after the amendment had already been approved on a bipartisan vote.
Officials with the tobacco companies, and allies who include some public health advocates, counter that theyve been trying to crack down on ultra cheap and unregulated cigarettes, which they contend skirt tax and health laws.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who sponsored the Secure Rural Schools amendment, said that the $346 million program supports schools and road projects in Montana and elsewhere. He said the $97 million tobacco provision helps provide critical funding for the program by closing a loophole that some smokers have been using to avoid taxes.
Enjoying a tax loophole
Roll-your-own cigarette machines take advantage of an unintended tax loophole, and that isnt right, so this offset closes it, he said in a statement.
But Accordino says the case illustrates how corporate America can quietly use its political influence in Washington to secure wins on the business battlefield.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Corporate-Scum Nanny-State PING!
Thank you for posting this thread.
I almost left my tobacco seedlings outside for the night, and they can't yet handle the cool evenings.
Oh, and the nanny staters can sod off.
No, but if you have a machine to help them knit the yarn into sweaters, you might be classified as one.
We are, not so slowly, heading for the tipping point.
I have been rolling my own for about 5 years now...Then the idiot canadian female governor AKA a democrat put a 25 dollar tax on a one pound bag of loose cigarette tobacco. Pipe tobacco is just a little larger cut and makes a nice cigarette...no 25 dollar tax on pipe tobacco..
This last election went to the republicans and they are only just a little bit better...Michigan is not a business friendly state...
Smokers are much better people than control freaks.
Attaching unrelated bullcrap to what some people see as necessary legislation used to be called "logrolling" and was strictly illegal.
We need to get back to that.
LOL Accordino! The increase on pipe tobacco is next.
Even though the anti-freedom people would love to use the power of the state to ram through their version of 'the right way to live'
Maybe not, but if they can't tax it, they can damn sure regulate it. Tobacco is now under the purview of the FDA.
Right out of Hitler and Stalin’s playbook as penned by Marx.
To paraphrase the late, great Andrew Breitbart, "war".
Not that I care, that much. Any government that wants that fine of a control is gonna crash and burn on it's own. I've seen government at work, up close and personal.
Couldn't find their ass with a flashlight and instructions.
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