Cigarette rolling machine makers oppose proposed tax hike – CBS Chicago
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (CBS) – A bill awaiting a vote in the Senate concerns either tax fairness or the growth of large companies.
As Dave Dahl of WBBM Newsradio reports, it depends on who you believe.
READ MORE: “High iron levels” caused brown clouds in Lake Michigan, causing beach closures in Indiana Dunes National Park
LISTEN: Reports from Dave Dahl of WBBM Newsradio
Right now it’s much cheaper to buy loose tobacco, buy paper tubes, and put everything in a cigarette machine.
A rolling machine can produce a carton’s worth of cigarettes for around $ 20, as opposed to the $ 50 or more you would pay for the leading national brand at a convenience store.
State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) wants to change that.
READ MORE: 72-year-old man shot dead with paintball gun near church
“This establishes a tax and regulatory regime that would treat roll-your-own cigarettes like regular retail cigarettes, thereby closing the tax loophole,” Link said.
But not everyone agrees that tax fairness is the motivation.
“It’s not about taxes,” said Phil Accordino, president of Ohio-based RYO Machine LLC, which makes cigarette rolling machines. “It’s about legislating winners and losers.”
Advocates of the “ride it yourself” industry have said the bill will only encourage customers – who already pay taxes – to get out of state or use the Internet. The owners of roll-your-own stores in Worth and Peoria have described themselves as job creators who should put their workers out of work if the bill passes.
NO MORE NEWS: Weather in Chicago: warmer than normal
Senators admit that the bulk of tobacco supports Link’s bill.