On 2/26 the House Ways & Means Committee amended HB 2565 to impose all of the responsibilities of cigarette manufacturing on store owners. As passed by the House Ways & Means Committee the bill will force all the stores operating these machines to close their doors because it’s impossible to comply with the new requirements. The bill is projected to increase state tax collections by $13 million, a projection that we dispute but as a result the Ways & Means Committee brought it back to life by including the revenue from the bill in the supplemental operating budget.
Which is more ridiculous...calling the store owners "manufacturers" when customers come into the store, purchase their items and operate a machine to combine the items or inlcuding projected revenues that will never exist becasue these small "mom and pop" businesses will all be put out of business? The next time you go to the grocery store and use a machine to grind coffe beans, ask yourself why that store is not considered a "coffee manufacturer".
Even people who oppose smoking should be concerned that our Representatives and Senators are willing to put 86 machine owners and nearly 300 people out of work by falsely claiming that it will increase revenue for the state. The revenues collected now from these operations will be lost, along with life savings and investments made by people like me. Its disgraceful.