Albany, N.Y. (AP) - A new player dealing in loose tobacco rolled in retail stores, but taxed far less than cigarettes, has won a battle in New York.
A bill to tax loose tobacco rolled in stores at the same level as cigarettes passed the Democrat-led Assembly but never made it to the floor of the Republican-led Senate during the legislative session that ended last week.
The difference in federal taxes between the roll-your-owns and prepackaged smokes is $20 a pound.
Cartons of roll-your-owns, with 200 cigarettes, cost about $38, compared to $108 at a gas station across the street or $125 in New York City.
The industry's biggest player, RYO Filling Station of Ohio, hired a lobbying firm run by former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R). D’Amato served as Us Senator from N.Y. from 1981 to 1999.
State records show D'Amato met with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in February.
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