Texas - to tax smokeless tobacco by weight rather than by price..

June 28, 2009 - Smokeless tobacco in Texas would be taxed by weight instead of the list price under a bill the Legislature has sent to Gov. Rick Perry. The state House approved the measure Friday evening, May 29th. The Senate passed a weight-based tax on smokeless tobacco on May 26, 2009.

Texas lawmakers passed a tax break for small businesses, and Governor Rick Perry signed it into law with great fanfare (while quietly signing the linked smokeless-tobacco tax increase).

The tobacco measure’s author, Rep. Al Edwards, D-Houston, said weight is a fairer way to tax the products. He said the loan repayment program will benefit people wherever there’s a doctor shortage and the small-business tax break will help drive job creation. “It’s a user fee,” Edwards added. “If you don’t buy it, you don’t spend it." - A Voluntary Tax..

It will mean a jump of about $1 a can for users of “value” moist tobacco, plus higher taxes for such products as chewing tobacco, dry snuff and pipe tobacco, according to a retailer who opposed the increase. Value priced/discount smokeless tobacco like Conwood's Grizzly would cost more.

The measure, which takes effect September 1, 2009 and initially focused on addressing a doctor shortage in some areas, got an added boost when the size of a tax break for small business also was tied to it.

Reference: New fees for tobacco, parking and more by PEGGY FIKAC, Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau, 6/27/2009;

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