Bills are pending in both the Florida and Texas legislatures that would, respectively, impose a 52 cent per pack tax and a 43 cent per pack tax on cigarettes manufactured by companies that have not settled with these states.
Florida, Texas, Mississippi and Minnesota are the four states that are not signatories to the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement. These states do not impose any escrow obligations on non-settling manufacturers, and initially did not impose any additional charges on non-settling manufacturers. Mississippi and Minnesota subsequently imposed additional fees on non-settling manufacturers’ cigarettes.
The Florida and Texas proposals are not new, having been proposed and rejected many times since these states originally settled their lawsuits against the major manufacturers. The Florida and Texas bills remain in committee, and have not been approved.
For questions and/or comments, please contact Bryan Haynes, Troutman Sanders Tobacco practice partner, at 804.697.1420 or by email.