Tobacco Loophole Could Cost the State More than $1 Billion


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A loophole in an agreement reached between states and certain cigarette manufacturers could cost the state almost $70 million in revenue this year and more than $1 billion across a decade if the Missouri legislature doesn’t act before April 15. The deadline comes after years of delays despite pleas from both Gov. Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster.

It begins with the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, the landmark $200 billion deal between big tobacco and 46 states. At the heart of the deal was an arrangement between tobacco and the states to prevent further lawsuits. The major companies signing onto the deal would compensate states based on their sales for the following decades, in turn shielding themselves from more legal action.

Source: The Missouri Times

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