XT 2003-11 Excise And Motor Fuel Tax Division Information
Release – Master Settlement Agreement Changes - August 4,
The 125th General Assembly recently passed Amended Substitute
House Bill 95 that changes several of the requirements
surrounding the Cigarette Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).
These changes will affect tobacco manufacturers, wholesalers,
Currently, cigarette and roll-your-own tobacco manufacturers
must be either a signatory to the MSA or make payments to a
qualified escrow account. This legislation provides for a Web
site where all brands, that have met one of the above two
requirements, will be listed. The Attorney General will
establish and maintain the Web site. The Web site will be
operational after August 11, 2003, and can be checked by
going to www.ag.state.oh.us and under
Current Features click on Tobacco Directory.
Ten days following the initial listing of the brands to the
Web site, it will be illegal to affix an Ohio cigarette tax
stamp or to sell or offer to sell in Ohio any brand of
cigarette or roll-your-own tobacco that is not included on
this list. Brands not on the list may be in your possession
for sale into other states or waiting to be returned to the
manufacturer, but may not be in your possession for sale or
distribution in Ohio. The Department of Taxation may
confiscate any cigarettes or roll-your-own tobacco found in
violation of the statute and may revoke the license of any
wholesale or retail dealer that distributes such products in
Ohio. Wholesale and retail dealers may also be charged with a
first-degree misdemeanor for the first offense and a
fourth-degree felony for subsequent offenses. Section 1346.09
(B) of the Ohio Revised Code entitles the state to recover
the costs of the investigation, expert witness fees, court
costs and reasonable attorney’s fees associated with any
action to enforce Sections 1346.05 through 1346.10 of the
Ohio Revised Code.
The law requires the Attorney General to notify the
Department of Taxation of any pending additions or removals
to the list. The Department of Taxation will in turn give
notice to all cigarette wholesalers and distributors of other
tobacco products at least ten days prior to the effective
date of the pending additions or removals.
In order for you to
receive timely notification, the law requires all cigarette
wholesalers and other tobacco products distributors to
provide the Department of Taxation with electronic email
addresses. Please complete the enclosed form with the
email addresses that you would like to receive this
notification and return it in the envelope provided by August
12, 2003. It is your responsibility to notify the Department
of Taxation when there are email address changes.
Retail cigarette dealers will be notified of these changes
and will also be able to access the list on the Attorney
General’s Web site.
Any questions may be directed to the Excise and Motor Fuel
Tax Division at (855) 466-3921.