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Tobacco seller trade group claims fee victory

Convenience stores in New York state, which currently pay $100 a year to register as tobacco sellers, have dodged a state government proposal that could have sharply increased registration fees, a trade group says. 

Stores will probably only have to pay a $300 annual tobacco fee each year instead of a proposed increase to as much as $5,000, the National Association of Convenience Stores said in a news release last week. Under current law the stores pay a $100 annual fee.

The higher fee increases were proposed during the budget process but were not included in the final draft passed last week by the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

The cigarette sales association called the proposal “a cynical ploy hatched by public health advocates to force 40 percent of the state’s tobacco retailers out of the tobacco trade.” 

The budget signed into law ended what the association called “the tobacco registration fee nightmare that has haunted New York convenience store operators for the past two years …”

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