NATO Urges Action on Amendment to SCHIP Bill

The National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) said today every NATO member, their employees and customers need to call their two U.S. Senators immediately to urge them to vote in favor of an amendment to the SCHIP bill which calls for a reduction in the tax on roll-your-own tobacco from $24.78 per pound to $2.83 per pound and would eliminate the floor stocks tax on tobacco products for wholesalers and retailers.

A special effort by the American Wholesale Marketers Association helped get support for this amendment, said Tom Briant, executive director of NATO.

The amendment is being sponsored by Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky and it’s known as Senate Amendment No. 81. "Since the amendment could be voted on TODAY, there is a great sense of urgency for these calls," Briant said in an email to members

In the email, Briant continued, "If either or both of your U.S. Senators are Democrats, call their office and urge their staff to deliver a written message to them which states:

"Senator, if you vote in favor of only one Republican amendment to the SCHIP bill, I urge you to vote in favor of Senate Amendment No. 81 which increases the tax on roll your own tobacco to a reasonable $2.83 per pound and eliminates the extreme financial burden of a floor stocks tax on the inventory in my store(s). This amendment will literally save tens of thousands of retail and wholesale jobs and thousands of Main Street retail stores across the country."

If either of your senators is a Republican, Briant said, call their office and urge their staff to deliver a written message to them which states:

"Senator, when Senate Amendment No. 81 sponsored by Senator Jim Bunning comes up for a vote on the SCHIP bill, I urge you to vote in favor of the amendment which increases the tax on roll your own tobacco to a reasonable $2.83 per pound and eliminates the extreme financial burden of a floor stocks tax on the inventory in my store(s). This amendment will literally save tens of thousands of retail and wholesale jobs and thousands of Main Street retail stores across the country."

Stay tuned to CSDecisions.com for details on SCHIP and the industry’s position on key portions of the bill as they become available.

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