Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2011
 

Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax Law

HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE

PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE MASTER SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

Section 104557

104557. Tobacco manufacturer's sale of cigarettes; requirements. (a) Any tobacco product manufacturer selling cigarettes to consumers within the state, whether directly or through a distributor, retailer or similar intermediary or intermediaries, after the date of enactment of this article shall do one of the following:

(1) Become a participating manufacturer as that term is defined in Section II(jj) of the Master Settlement Agreement and generally perform its financial obligations under the Master Settlement Agreement; or

(2) Place into a qualified escrow fund by April 15 of the year following the year in question the following amounts, as such amounts are adjusted for inflation:

(A) For 1999: $0.0094241 per unit sold during that year, after the date of the enactment of this article.

(B) For 2000: $0.0104712 per unit sold during that year.

(C) For each of 2001 and 2002: $0.0136125 per unit sold during the year in question.

(D) For each of 2003 through 2006: $0.0167539 per unit sold during the year in question. (E) For each of 2007 and each year thereafter: $0.0188482 per unit sold during the year in question.

(b) Any tobacco product manufacturer that places funds into escrow pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall receive the interest or other appreciation on the funds as earned. The funds, other than the interest or other appreciation, shall be released from escrow only under the following circumstances:

(1) To pay a judgment or settlement on any released claim brought against that tobacco product manufacturer by the state or any releasing party located or residing in the state. Funds shall be released from escrow under this subdivision (i) in the order in which they were placed into escrow and (ii) only to the extent and at the time necessary to make payments required under that judgment or settlement.

(2) To the extent that a tobacco product manufacturer establishes that the amount it was required to place into escrow on account of units sold in this state in a particular year was greater than the Master Settlement Agreement payments, as determined pursuant to section IX(i) of the agreement including after the final determination of all adjustments, that the manufacturer would have been required to make on account of the units sold had it been a participating manufacturer, the excess shall be released from escrow and revert back to that tobacco product manufacturer; or

(3) To the extent not released from escrow under paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (b), funds shall be released from escrow and revert back to the tobacco product manufacturer 25 years after the date on which they were placed into escrow.

(c) Each tobacco product manufacturer that elects to place funds into escrow pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall annually certify to the Attorney General that it is in compliance with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), and subdivision (b). The Attorney General may bring a civil action on behalf of the state against any tobacco product manufacturer that fails to place into escrow the funds required under this section. Any tobacco product manufacturer that fails in any year to place into escrow the funds required under this section shall:

(1) Be required within 15 days to place the funds into escrow as shall bring it into compliance with this section. The court, upon a finding of a violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), or subdivision (b), may impose a civil penalty to be paid to the General Fund of the state in an amount not to exceed 5 percent of the amount improperly withheld from escrow per day of the violation and in a total amount not to exceed 100 percent of the original amount improperly withheld from escrow.

(2) In the case of a knowing violation, be required within 15 days to place the funds into escrow as shall bring it into compliance with this section. The court, upon a finding of a knowing violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), or subdivision (b), may impose a civil penalty to be paid to the General Fund in an amount not to exceed 15 percent of the amount improperly withheld from escrow per day of the violation and in a total amount not to exceed 300 percent of the original amount improperly withheld from escrow.

(3) In the case of a second knowing violation, be prohibited from selling cigarettes to consumers within the state, whether directly or through a distributor, retailer, or similar intermediary, for a period not to exceed two years.

(d) Each failure to make an annual deposit required under this section shall constitute a separate violation.