Roll-your-own outlets not set to collect state tax

OLYMPIA — Roll-your-own cigarette companies have not started collecting Washington state tax.

State officials said Monday that only one business purchased tax stamps for the machines. Department of Revenue spokesman Mike Gowrylow suspects other outlets have shut down while the industry awaits guidance from the courts.

The Washington Supreme Court issued a stay last week, blocking a lower court ruling that had prohibited the state from collecting the tax starting on July 1. The high court is expected to consider a more permanent resolution next week.

Nearly 100 roll-your-own machines are operating in Washington, and the state estimates the law is supposed to help bring in between $12 million and $55 million per year.

Opponents of the law contend that the tax should have been approved by two-thirds of state lawmakers because of a voter-approved initiative.

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