Maryland May Change Tax Formula on Chewing Tobacco

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Maryland May Change Tax Formula on Chewing Tobacco

03/26/2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- A bill went before the Maryland House committee Tuesday, which if passed, would change the way the state taxes moist snuff, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Maryland’s current system taxes moist snuff at 15 percent of the purchase price. The new arrangement would instead use a weight-based program, applying a 75-cent per ounce tax.

Opponents of the bill said such a tax would provide an advantage to more expensive moist snuff brands, by closing the price gap between premium and cheaper brands.

Some public health advocates have also come out against the bill, suggesting the change could provide an advantage to snuff brands, which are already popular with younger consumers.

Supporters said the change could bring in more tax revenue to the state, using by-volume taxes like those on gas and alcohol as examples.

A similar bill passed through the state’s Senate last year but died on the House floor.