Tobacco tax fail

It’s easy to get discouraged fighting the often losing battle for consumer freedom on tobacco issues, but this article made my day:

Pipe and cigar smokers along with those who buy snuff and chewing tobacco in Hawaii are getting a four-month, $400,000 state tobacco tax holiday because of an error in a tax law written by the state Legislature.

House Bill 895 was vetoed by Gov. Linda Lingle, who said it was filled with technical mistakes. The Legislature overrode the veto, and now some of those mistakes are becoming apparent.

“It contains major technical flaws that defeat the purpose of the legislation and will make it virtually impossible to implement,” Lingle wrote in her veto message.

The inadvertent tax holiday was caused by a mistake in the bill that did not specify the tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes during the period from enactment until Sept. 30.

That error, according to legislative researchers, will result in a $400,000 loss in revenue.

And that’s just the beginning of the law’s problems. If you live in Hawaii, stock up this summer!

[Via Cigar Jack.]

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  1. [...] Hawaii inadvertently removes tobacco tax temporarily. Sometimes, government incompetence can be welfare improving [ungated draft]. [...]

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