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Answering your questions from Mail Call

January 11, 2008

When did cigarette tax increase go into effect in Maryland?



Q: I want to know, if the cigarette increase went into effect on Jan. 1, why Sheetz at Huyetts Crossroads was collecting it on Monday, Dec. 31. - Clear Spring

A: Maryland's tobacco tax increased from $1 to $2 a pack, starting on Jan. 1. "The current cigarette tax of $2 a pack is factored into the total retail price," said Warren Hansen, a spokesman for the Maryland state comptroller's office. "Because the retailer is free to set the sale price, it is difficult to determine whether the tax has been prematurely collected. If a consumer has any questions about the new cigarette tax, he or she can call our Taxpayer Services Line at 410-260-7314."

(Editor's note: We also received a question from someone who wondered if he had been prematurely charged a higher vehicle titling excise tax. He was told the increase took effect Jan. 3. Actually, the vehicle titling excise tax increased from 5 percent to 6 percent on Jan. 1. It is based on "total purchase price of the vehicle less the value of any vehicle accepted for trade-in," according to the state Motor Vehicle Administration's Web site).

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