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 Maryland - Proposed Legislation

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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Maryland - Proposed Legislation   Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:00 pm

My wife works for a Maryland Senator and she rec'd this email asking for co-sponsorship for a new pipe tobacco/cigar bill. I'm not exactly sure how this works but I can't imagine this is a good thing. I don't think any tobacco retailer will want to pay a fee and register in order to ship tobacco to a Maryland resident. Apparently we have a similar law in place for wine vendors, but I really can't imagine they are lining up to do this either. Maryland is already the 10th highest state for OTP tax at 30% for pipe tobacco. I'm going to call the sponsoring Senator this week to voice my displeasure and get some more information.

Dear Colleague:

I am writing to ask you to consider co-sponsoring a bill I am introducing entitled Pipe Tobacco and Premium Cigars – Direct Sale and Shipment to Consumers. This bill would establish a method of shipping pipe tobacco and premium cigars to Maryland consumers in a manner similar to direct wine shipment.

Under the bill, a direct tobacco shipper’s permit would be established for persons seeking to ship pipe tobacco or premium cigars directly to a consumer in the state, which would be issued at the discretion of the Office of the Comptroller. An applicant for a direct tobacco shipper’s permit would submit both an application and a fee as set by the Comptroller. The Comptroller would then issue a one-year direct tobacco shipper’s permit to each qualified applicant, allowing the holder to sell and ship pipe tobacco or premium cigars to consumers in the state either by electronic or other means of order.

Additionally, a direct tobacco shipper is required to follow specific labeling requirements for the shipment, report related data to the Comptroller on a quarterly basis, pay tobacco taxes on due sales sold to Maryland consumers, allow for an audit by the Comptroller upon request, and consent to the jurisdiction of the Comptroller or other state unit where enforcement of existing law is in question.

Lastly, this legislation establishes the means by which a direct tobacco shipper may renew their license and specifies a minimum age of 18 in order to purchase tobacco products by means of shipment.

I urge my fellow Senators to co-sponsor this important legislation. For more information concerning the bill or to sign on as a co-sponsor, please contact John Olderman in my office at x3137 or jolderman@senate.state.md.us by Friday, February 1.

Sincerely,

Richard S. Madaleno, Jr.
203 James Senate Office Building
11 Bladen Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
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dshpipes

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Age : 33
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

PostSubject: Re: Maryland - Proposed Legislation   Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:40 pm

When I read this bill I thought it was good. Considering tobacco shipment is making its way toward the entirely illegal in the US, giving pipe and cigar tobacco a special designation which would still allow it to be shipped is a good thing. Especially since the bill would set pipe and cigar tobacco apart from cigarette tobacco and place it in the same category as fine wine. If this legislation passes, it appears that pipe and cigar tobacco would receive elevated status above cigarette tobacco, thereby helping out pipe and cigar smokers.

But that's just how I read it. :shrug:
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Maryland - Proposed Legislation   Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:14 pm

The "urging" and "important" part are about as vague as can be. I'm not sure what the goal of this is. Which of course, makes warning bells ring. *shrug* Someone's putting their toe in the water, methinks.
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Maryland - Proposed Legislation   Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:21 pm

UberHuberMan wrote:
When I read this bill I thought it was good. Considering tobacco shipment is making its way toward the entirely illegal in the US, giving pipe and cigar tobacco a special designation which would still allow it to be shipped is a good thing. Especially since the bill would set pipe and cigar tobacco apart from cigarette tobacco and place it in the same category as fine wine. If this legislation passes, it appears that pipe and cigar tobacco would receive elevated status above cigarette tobacco, thereby helping out pipe and cigar smokers.

But that's just how I read it. :shrug:

I'll definitely have to do some more investigation. I enjoy Chief Catoonah's "Princes Street Mixture" and buy perhaps a pound per year. I'm guessing that small company doesn't have too many Maryland customers. Is he going to file paperwork and pay the fee to sell me a pound per year? I'm thinking not. This may indeed be required by all states in the future, it's only a matter of time before they figure a way to get taxes on internet purchases. I'd just wish Maryland wasn't trying to lead the race. It is all about the revenue these days, that is the only end they work towards. No new legislation will get any traction unless they are revenue producing. The Maryland state legislature only runs from Jan to April so it is a foot race to get bills submitted and thru committee.
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Maryland - Proposed Legislation   Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:26 pm

Dick at Chief Catoonah Tobacconist just responded to this thread on the SmokersForums. I'm waiting his permission to copy his response here. (as I thought, he would simply stop shipping to Maryland were this to occur)
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Maryland - Proposed Legislation   Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:29 pm

riff raff wrote:
It is all about the revenue these days, that is the only end they work towards. No new legislation will get any traction unless they are revenue producing.

Well of course, and if they can sell it emotionally, rhetorically, or philosophically to the gullible, either the voter or mindless "representative," bonus points come voting season. Laughing Revenue is a product just as much if these guys are factory workers making widgets. Widgets not selling? Campaign, make them want it. Got a new widget? Sell it that way, make more. These guys have it all worked out. Helping or hindering is only the opposition's case depending on how many widgets...erm...how much revenue...can be produced. The tangibility of it not actually being a widget, but monopoly money that hasn't been printed yet, is the real shame...

...yet there's some tobacco vendor in MD someplace that would probably really like to know what this all about, and what to him it all means.

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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Maryland - Proposed Legislation   Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:32 pm

As I was citing an example from a vendor I use, Chief Catoonah, the proprietor was sending this message on the similar thread over on the SmokersForums.uk. As I suspected, he was none to thrilled. With permission, I copy his response here:

Quote :
Certainly seems like a "privilege" tax. Kinda smacks of taxation without representation.

The next step could be the need for me to file a state income tax form for doing business in your state. And what benefits would I receive for collecting and paying taxes to a state where I neither reside or have a place of business. I'm sure that teachers, policemen and firemen need to be paid; however, I already pay my responsible share here in Connecticut.

As a small e-tailer, the cost to me of compliance would far exceed the gross margin I might realize by shipping to Maryland. And I would expect that the cost to Maryland of enforcing this proposed law would far exceed the revenue achieved.

Could this really be a way to justify hiring more state employees?

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Dick

www.ChiefCatoonah.com
Wonderful Customers and Fine Service Since 1976
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