Retailer efforts against an astronomical increase in registration fees for stores selling tobacco are making strides in New York.
The fee increase came down earlier this year, upping the registration fee for a retailer from $100 per store for the right to sell tobacco products to $1,000, $2,500 or even $5,000 per store for a registration fee based on each store’s gross sales of all products, not just tobacco products.
The National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) joined with the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS) in launching Operation Rollback, an effort to urge retailers to contact their New York State legislators to roll back the registration fees to $200 per store.
Thanks to their efforts, a bill has been introduced in the state legislature to rollback these registration fees. In addition, NYACS and several other organizations sued the State of New York to obtain an injunction against these high registration fees. On Sept. 17, the New York State Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order preventing the New York State Tax Department from collecting the higher fees until the court makes a final decision on a motion for an injunction, NATO reported.
For the moment, this ruling saves every retailer hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. NATO is urging New York retailers to now file New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Form DTF-719-MN, called the Renewal Application for the Registration of Retail Dealers and Vending Machines for Sales of Cigarettes and Tobacco Products. The registration fee remains at $100 per store until the State Supreme Court makes a final decision on this lawsuit.