iowa cstore group fights new tobacco tax

Proposed increase could leader to higher security and operating costs.

Fearing that a new federal tobacco tax will hurt overall store operations for a lot of retailers, the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa has stepped up and taken an open stand against the proposed legislature. The group feels that another increase in tobacco sales will begin a chain reaction

that could potentially damage storeowner’s profits.

Dawn Carlson, president of the group, told Radio Iowa that the new tax would cause cigarette theft to rise, costing retailers important profits. The increase in theft would lead to other draining expense, such as hiring more employees and setting up more security cameras to increase the safety for all customers.

“Our main concern is to make sure that these individuals are operating and working in a safe environment so that adds more expense for our businesses,” said Carlton.

Tobacco makes up for one-third of the sales in c-stores, and Carlson feels that adding this tax of 61 cents–only months after adding a $1-per-pack increase in mid-March–local officials will cause a further crippling in sales and a decrease in tax revenue.

“They’re going to see the impact of that and it’s not going to be good,” said Carlton.

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