Court clears way for tax on roll-your-own cigarettes

OLYMPIA — The cost of roll your own cigarettes is going up Sunday when the state begins imposing a new tax on the handcrafted product.

A state Supreme Court commissioner cleared the way late Friday when he concluded that opponents of the tax failed to comply with terms of an injunction blocking its collection by the state.

Franklin County Superior Court Judge Bruce Spanner granted the injunction contingent on those fighting the tax posting a $200,000 bond to ensure the state’s interests are protected should it ultimately prevail.

Those plaintiffs, who include the owner of a store that provides machines for people to roll their own cigarettes and a customer, didn’t put up the money.

On Friday, Deputy Commissioner Walter Burton issued a temporary stay on the injunction. It will be in effect until July 10 when a decision on extending it will be made.

That means starting Sunday retailers operating cigarette-making machines must place cigarette tax stamps on the products. This will add roughly 15 cents to the price of each cigarette.

The Supreme Court is expected to eventually settle the question of whether the validity of this tax, which was approved in April by a bipartisan majority of state lawmakers.

Supporters contended it is not a new tax but an extension of an existing one and ensures those rolling their own cigarettes pay the same amount of tax as those who buy packaged smokes.

Opponents argued it is a new tax. They contend that under the voter-approved Initiative 1053 it required approval by a two-thirds majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

It did not meet that requirement in the Senate and should be disallowed, they argued in winning the initial injunction.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Mayor tries new tactic to curb fire department overtime

Stephanson says an engine won’t go into service when the only available staff would be on overtime.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Paine Field fire chief will be allowed to retire

In his letter, the airport director noted Jeff Bohnet was leaving while under investigation.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

Lynnwood man allegedly cuts Marysville’s 911 dispatch wires

The man reportedly told police he intended to trade the wires for drugs.

Ian Terry / The Herald Westbound cars merge from Highway 204 and 20th Street Southeast onto the trestle during the morning commute on Thursday, March 30 in Lake Stevens. Photo taken on 03302017
Pay a toll on US 2 trestle? 10,000 say no on social media

A GOP lawmaker’s chart shows theoretical toll rates of up to $6.30 to cross the trestle one way.

Most Read