News: No Enforcement While Georgia Reviews Tobacco Purchasing Bill
It was announced on Friday that the provisions of a Georgia House Bill that would have required in-state retailers to only purchase tobacco products from out-of-state suppliers that possess a Georgia business license will not be enforced by the state’s Department of Revenue Alcohol and Tobacco Division until it undergoes additional review.
In their e-mail advisory, the IPCPR said that the licensing provisions that are part of Georgia H.B. 1071 are being suspended until further notice pending review by state agencies.
Here is the notice that was sent to all Georgia retailers and the IPCPR:
Good afternoon. At the very least, significant concerns have been expressed concerning the licensing requirements of H.B. 1071. The matter and some additional documentation is under review by this Department (DOR) and the Department of Law. DOR will take no action to enforce the provisions concerning manufacturer licensing or retailers presently purchasing from unlicensed out-of-state entities until such time as current reviews are completed and decisions are made subsequent to those reviews. DOR will continue to work with all interested parties to resolve the issues and concerns. I trust this is responsive to the most immediate concerns and we will follow-up as reviews are completed and decisions are made. Have a great weekend.
Howard A. Tyler
Director – Alcohol and Tobacco Division
Georgia Department of Revenue
Here is the first reader summary of the bill:
A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 11 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to taxes on tobacco products, so as to change certain provisions relating to the excise tax on certain tobacco products; to provide for a definition; to establish the rate of tax on certain tobacco products; to establish the retail selling price before the addition of certain taxes; to provide for annual renewal of tobacco dealer license; to provide for exemptions from certain taxes; to authorize the collection and payment on the first taxable transaction; to change certain provisions regarding civil and criminal penalties; to amend Code Section 50-13-2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to definitions relative to administrative procedure, so as to revise a definition to include hearings related to tobacco within its meaning; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
Georgia was in the news in late October when it was discovered that the state was considering changes to the tax code because some cigar retailers were crossing state lines to Florida to buy cigars tax-free and then bring them into the state for sale without the state collecting revenue on them, something that was estimated to be costing the Peach State’s coffers upwards of $15 million annually.