Editorial: Yakama cigarette deal good for all

"Given the options of a win/win situation through negotiations or a return to confrontation between the Yakama Nation and the state of Washington over cigarette taxes, we'll come down on the side of the former just about every time.

A government-to-government agreement on tribal cigarette tax rates will give the tribe eight more years to raise tribal taxes to a rate closer to that levied by the state. The agreement would replace a 2004 agreement intended to equalize state and tribal tobacco taxes by next year, a goal that proved to be too ambitious.

The new compact will require legislative approval, and we urge the 15th District delegation -- state Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, and state Reps. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, and Bruce Chandler, R-Granger -- to go on point to get the necessary support from the state House and Senate.

The state collects a tax of $20.25 per carton. Under the new agreement, the tribe would ramp up its current tax of $16.20 per carton to $17.75 over eight years. The money is retained by the tribe.

According to a spokesman for the state Department of Revenue, a federal tax of 39 cents a pack is built into the price of the cigarettes when they leave the manufacturer, so everyone, even tribal members, pays it."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Both sides win in Yakama, state cigarette tax agreement (The Yakima Herald Republic 12/19)

Relevant Links:
Yakama Land Enterprise - http://ynle.com/ynle

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