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    Utah Tobacco Retailers Brace for Tax Increase Impact

    New tax goes into effect Thursday.

    OGDEN, Utah -- Tobacco retailers in Utah are attempting the keep their inventories as low as possible as users of the products have been stocking up in advance of a $1 per pack cigarette tax increase that goes into effect Thursday.
    According to the Standard-Examiner, as of Thursday, tobacco sellers have to pay the state the difference between the old tax and the new level for every pack in stock. Thus many shops are letting their inventory lag to keep the floor tax payment as low as possible.
    At the same time, customers are stocking up to avoid the tax increase as long as possible.
    In addition to the cigarette tax increase, tax on cigars and pipe tobacco will go from 35 percent to 86 percent of the manufacturer's sale price, according the Utah State Tax Commission.
    Mary Hanselman, owner of Timberline Smoke Shop in Box Elder County, told the Standard-Examiner the tax increase hasn't affected her business yet but things may change come Thursday.
    "Our customers are just buying what they usually do," she said. "I'm not too happy about the floor tax but no one is ever happy about having to pay taxes. I want to apologize to my customers. It's not me who's doing this."
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