New 2016 Year started with resolutions regarding prices of cigarettes. The price of a cigarette pack in Minnesota was increased for a second time.
Beginning with January 1, the price of every cigarette pack purchased in Minnesota will contain around $3.50 in taxes. It's around 12 cents more per pack than smoking people paid last year, and some cigarette stores affirm the rise will have unexpected outcomes.
Minnesota Service Station & Convenience Store Association Executive Director Lance Klatt tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the USA state is losing positions in cigarette business owing to the tax. He highlights that due to 2013 legislation, the state's cigarette tax instantly boosts yearly.
As well, based on a House Research Department map of 2015 state-by-state cigarette taxes, which does not include sales tax, Minnesota already has one of the largest rates in the nation at $2.90 per pack, considerably higher than 44 cents in North Dakota, $1.53 in South Dakota, $1.36 in Iowa and $2.52 in Wisconsin.
"It's not just cigarette retailers are losing income on the tobacco and cigarette taxes," he said, "it is also losing money on all other products sold at retail stores."
Klatt is part of a group of sellers who say they directed Gov. Mark Dayton a letter requesting him to cancel the auto yearly tax increase, saying it's bad for cigarette business and motivates cigarette smuggling.
The Governor's office forwarded a demand for comment to the state Department of Revenue, which answered with a declaration, saying, "We always appreciate hearing about ideas for legislative changes such as those outlined in the Service Station and Convenience Store Association's letter. We look forward to the discussion on the topic with legislators and stakeholders during the upcoming legislative.