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Budget Summary FY2009

Outside Section 38
Data Current as of:  6/22/2009




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Cigar Tobacco Reclassification-10

SECTION 38.   Said chapter 64C is hereby further amended by striking out section 7B, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 7B. (a) As used in this section the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

"Cigar", any roll of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco or in any substance containing tobacco; provided, however, that "cigar" shall not include any roll of tobacco that is a cigarette as defined in section 1.

"Cigar distributor", (i) any person who imports, or causes to be imported, into the commonwealth cigars or smoking tobacco for sale or who manufactures cigars or smoking tobacco in the commonwealth, and (ii) any person within or without the commonwealth who is authorized by the commissioner to make returns and pay the excise on cigars and smoking tobacco sold, shipped or delivered by him to any person in the commonwealth.

"Cigar retailer", any person who sells or furnishes cigars or smoking tobacco in small quantities to consumers for individual use; provided, however, said cigars or smoking tobacco shall not be used for the purpose of resale.

"Person", a natural person, corporation, association, partnership or other legal entity.

"Smoking tobacco", roll-your-own tobacco and pipe tobacco and other kinds and forms of tobacco suitable for smoking.

"Taxed cigars and smoking tobacco", cigars and smoking tobacco upon which the excise has been paid in full by the date on which payment is due, and with respect to which the return has been completed, signed and filed with the commissioner by the date on which the return is due, in accordance with this section and with section 16 of chapter 62C.

"Untaxed cigars and smoking tobacco", cigars and smoking tobacco upon which the excise has not been paid in full by the date on which payment is due, or with respect to which the return has not been completed, signed and filed with the commissioner by the date on which the return is due, in accordance with this section and with section 16 of chapter 62C.

"Wholesale price", (i) in the case of a manufacturer of cigars and smoking tobacco, the price set for such products or, if no price has been set, the wholesale value of these products; (ii) in the case of a cigar distributor who is not a manufacturer of cigars or smoking tobacco, the price at which the cigar distributor purchased these products; or (iii) in the case of a cigar retailer or a consumer, the price at which he purchased these products.

(b) An excise shall be imposed on all cigars and smoking tobacco held in the commonwealth at the rate of 30 per cent of the wholesale price of such products. This excise shall be imposed on cigar distributors at the time cigars or smoking tobacco are manufactured, purchased, imported, received or acquired in the commonwealth. This excise shall not be imposed on any cigars or tobacco products that (i) are exported from the commonwealth; or (ii) are not subject to taxation by the commonwealth pursuant to any law of the United States.

(c) Every cigar retailer shall be liable for the collection of the excise on all cigars or smoking tobacco in his possession at any time, upon which the excise has not been paid by a cigar distributor, and the failure of any cigar retailer to produce or exhibit to the commissioner or his authorized representative, upon demand, an invoice by a cigar distributor for any cigars or smoking tobacco in his possession, shall be presumptive evidence that the excise thereon has not been paid and that such cigar retailer is liable for the collection of the excise thereon.

(d) The amount of the excise advanced and paid by a cigar distributor or cigar retailer, as provided in this section, shall be added to and collected as part of, the sales price of the cigars or smoking tobacco.

(e)(1) A cigar distributor shall be liable for the payment of the excise on cigars and smoking tobacco that he imports or causes to be imported into the commonwealth or that he manufactures in the commonwealth, and every cigar distributor authorized by the commissioner to make returns and pay the excise on cigars or smoking tobacco sold, shipped or delivered by him to any person in the commonwealth shall be liable for the collection and payment of the excise on all cigars and smoking tobacco sold, shipped or delivered.

(2) Every person who does not acquire untaxed cigars or smoking tobacco, but acquires taxed cigars and smoking tobacco for sale at retail, shall not be licensed as a cigar distributor under this section, but shall be required, during the period that such person is a retailer of taxed cigars or smoking tobacco, to be licensed as a cigar retailer.

(f) A person outside the commonwealth who ships or transports cigars or smoking tobacco to cigar retailers in the commonwealth, to be sold by those cigar retailers, may apply for a license as a nonresident cigar distributor and, if the commissioner issues such a license to him, he shall thereafter be subject to all the provisions of this section and be entitled to act as a cigar distributor, provided he files proof with his application that he has appointed the state secretary as his agent for service of process relating to any matter or issue arising under this section. Such a nonresident person shall also agree to submit his books, accounts and records for examination in the commonwealth during reasonable business hours by the commissioner or his authorized representative.

(g) Every resident of the commonwealth shall be liable for the collection of the excise on all cigars or smoking tobacco in his possession at any time, upon which the excise has not been paid by a cigar distributor or cigar retailer, and the failure of any such consumer to produce or exhibit to the commissioner or his authorized representative, upon demand, an invoice or sales receipt by a cigar distributor or cigar retailer for any cigars or smoking tobacco in his possession, shall be presumptive evidence that the excise thereon has not been paid and that such consumer is liable for the collection of the excise thereon.

(h) No person shall act as a cigar distributor or cigar retailer in the commonwealth unless licensed to do so in accordance with section 67 of chapter 62C. If a cigar distributor or cigar retailer acts in more than 1 of said capacities at any 1 place of business, he shall procure a license for every capacity in which he acts, unless, upon application to the commissioner, the commissioner determines otherwise. Each license so issued or a duplicate copy thereof shall be prominently displayed on the premises covered by the license.

(i) Except as this section expressly provides to the contrary, the provisions of this chapter and of chapter 62C relative to the assessment, collection, payment, abatement, verification and administration of taxes, including penalties, shall so far as pertinent, apply to the excise tax imposed by this section.

(j)For the purposes of section 5, cigars and smoking tobacco shall be tobacco products, cigar distributors shall be wholesalers and cigar retailers shall be retailers.

(k) For the purposes of section 8, untaxed cigars and smoking tobacco found in the commonwealth shall be cigarettes, which have not been returned and are not returnable under section 16 of chapter 62C or section 6 as the context requires.

(l)(1) Any person who sells, offers for sale or possesses with intent to sell any cigars or smoking tobacco or otherwise acts as a cigar distributor or cigar retailer without being licensed so to do, shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by this chapter or chapter 62C, be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for the first offense and not more than $25,000 for each subsequent offense. Any person who knowingly purchases or possesses any cigars or smoking tobacco not manufactured, purchased or imported by a licensed cigar distributor or licensed cigar retailer shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by this chapter or chapter 62C, be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for the first offense and not more than $25,000 for each subsequent offense.

No person, either as principal or agent, shall sell or solicit orders for cigars or smoking tobacco to be shipped, mailed or otherwise sent or brought into the commonwealth to any person not a licensed cigar distributor or licensed cigar retailer, unless the same is to be sold to or through a licensed cigar distributor or licensed cigar retailer. Any person who knowingly violates this provision shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by this chapter or chapter 62C, be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for the first offense and not more than $25,000 for each subsequent offense.

It shall be presumed that the cigars and smoking tobacco are subject to the excise until the contrary is established and the burden of proof that they are not shall be upon the person on whose premises the cigars or smoking tobacco were found.

(2) Any person who knowingly has in his possession a shipping case or other container of cigars or smoking tobacco not bearing the name and address of the person receiving the cigars or smoking tobacco from a manufacturer or such other markings as the commissioner may prescribe and any person knowingly in possession of such a shipping case or other container of cigars or smoking tobacco from which this name and address has been erased or defaced shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by this chapter or chapter 62C, be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for the first offense or not more than $25,000 for each subsequent offense.

(3) Any person who files any false return, affidavit, or statement, or who violates any provision of this section for which no other penalty has been provided shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by this chapter or chapter 62C, be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for the first offense and not more than $25,000 for each subsequent offense.

(4) Whenever the commissioner or a police officer discovers, in the possession of any person not being a licensed cigar distributor or one authorized by the commissioner, any untaxed cigars or smoking tobacco, he may seize and take possession of those cigars and smoking tobacco, together with any vending machine or other receptacle, which shall include, without limitation, a motor vehicle, boat or airplane, in which they are contained or in which they are transported. Such cigars, smoking tobacco, vending machine or other receptacle seized by a police officer shall be turned over to the commissioner and shall be forfeited to the commonwealth. The commissioner shall destroy such cigars or smoking tobacco and shall destroy or otherwise dispose of such vending machine or other receptacle. The commissioner may, within a reasonable time after the seizure, by a public notice at least 5 days before the day of sale, sell the vending machine or other receptacle at public sale and deposit the proceeds in the General Fund.

(5) The state police and all local police authorities may, and at the request of the commissioner or his duly authorized agent shall, enforce this section. Each violation of this section shall be a separate offense.