NATO has been responding to an increasing number of local tobacco initiatives, including a proposal in Iowa's Linn County to ban the sale of dissolvable tobacco products; the Worcester, Mass., ordinance that bans all outdoor and in-store tobacco advertisements visible from the street; a Philadelphia, Penn., proposal to require graphic health warning signs at each register in stores that sell tobacco products; the Danville, Va., cigarette and OTP tax proposal; and the Boston, Mass., plan to ban the sale of certain single cigars and those cigars sold in packages of less than five.
Now, Illinois' Cook County Board of Commissioners is facing a projected budget shortfall of $315 million, and is considering imposing (1) a new cigarette tax of 10 cents per cigarette on "retail cigarette manufacturers" that make, fabricate or produce cigarettes or provide tobacco, materials and equipment to consumers to produce cigarettes, and (2) taxing other tobacco products at the following rates:
- Smoking Tobacco: $.60 per ounce or fraction of an ounce
- Smokeless Tobacco: $.60 per ounce or fraction of an ounce
- Little cigars: $.05 per unit or cigar
- Large cigars: $.30 per unit or cigar
While the proposal was introduced just last week and no public hearing date has been set on this proposal, NATO is already preparing to oppose this local tobacco tax and will be activating NATO members with stores in the county -- as well as NATO wholesalers and manufacturers that have facilities located in Cook County.
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