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    N.Y. Retail Tobacco Fees Barred

    Temporary ruling allows retailers to file 2010 registration renewals with previous $100 fee.

    ALBANY -- Tobacco retailers in the state got a reprieve from paying higher tobacco registration renewal fees this week, when State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Feinman issued a temporary restraining order barring the state Tax Department from implementing the newly passed increase in retail tobacco registration fees, following the filing of a lawsuit by five retail trade associations, according to the New York Association of Convenience Stores.

    The ruling allows retailers to file 2010 registration renewal forms with the Tax Department with payment of the previous fee of $100 per store. Retailers in the state should now proceed with filing the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance Form DTF-719-MN, known as Renewal Application for the Registration of Retail Dealers and Vending Machines for Sales of Cigarettes and Tobacco Products, with payment of the $100 per-store flat fee by the Sept. 21 deadline, NYACS stated.

    NYACS also warned the restraining order is temporary, and if the court ultimately rules differently, retailers would then have to pay the higher fee. The restraining order is in effect pending a court decision on a motion for a preliminary injunction, the association stated, adding its attorneys expect the decision to come sometime after December.

    With the restraining order in place, retailers can lobby the state legislature to pass a bill supported by NYACS that would roll back the fee hike to a more reasonable level, the organization stated.

    The five retail associations that filed the case against Governor Paterson were NYACS, the New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops, Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association, Service Station Dealers of Greater New York and the United 7-Eleven Franchise Owners of Long Island and New York, with backing from Harold Levinson Associates and 7-Eleven Inc.

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