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tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

tocacco Cigarettes are smoking products consumed by people and made out of cut tobacco leaves. Cigars are typically composed completely of whole-leaf tobacco. A cigarette has smaller size, composed of processed leaf, and white paper wrapping. The term cigarette refers to a tobacco cigarette too but it can apply to similar devices containing other herbs, such as cannabis.
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Gregoire proposes new taxes on soda, water, candy

OLYMPIA — Saying she’s shown the Legislature “the way to go home,” Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday proposed raising $605 million through new taxes and by ending existing tax exemptions and credits.

Gregoire’s plan contains no general sales-tax increase, as favored by some Democrats in the Legislature. Instead, the governor would focus on out-of-state companies, triple an existing chemical tax and add taxes to discretionary items such as candy, soda and cigarettes.

The three biggest tax proposals are a nickel increase in carbonated drinks, expected to bring in about $94 million; a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on bottled water that would bring in about $135 million; and a tripling of the state’s “hazardous-substance tax” on petroleum, pesticides and other chemicals that would raise $148 million for the state general fund.

In the Seattle area, Gregoire’s proposal would mean adding the 9.5 percent sales tax to every purchase of candy and gum.

Overall, the governor’s package includes 14 proposals to increase taxes or close exemptions, part of a plan to deal with a $2.8 billion budget shortfall.

“I’ve tried to do what I consider the most balanced, responsible approach that I could find, knowing full well there’s going to be a really big debate,” Gregoire said at a news conference in her office.

The governor said of her tax package, “I’ve shown them the way to go home.”

It’s not clear if lawmakers will follow her lead.

Sen. Rodney Tom, R-Bellevue, a key budget negotiator in the Senate, said his caucus is “all over the board” when it comes to tax increases. So far, Senate Democrats haven’t decided how much money should be raised through taxes, he said.

Gregoire’s proposal is a “good start,” he said, but added, “Our caucus members are all free agents. I’ll wait and see how this impacts them.”

Also, although the governor didn’t propose a general sales-tax increase, the Legislature has not ruled it out.

House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, said she’d prefer a temporary sales-tax increase that would go away as the economy improves.

That approach would be simpler than a smorgasbord of specialized taxes, and wouldn’t single out certain industries over others, she said.

“Because it’s an exceptional recession, we should have everybody take part in protecting the things we need to protect,” said Kessler.

Republicans contend tax increases will hurt the economy, and maintain the state should close the budget gap through cuts and by finding cheaper ways to provide services.

Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, called Gregoire’s plan “$605 million in taxes that our economy can’t afford.”

He said, for example, that the sales tax on candy and gum would be “a nightmare for retailers” because some candies, such as Twix, that have flour in them would be classified as food and remain exempt from the sales tax.

Gregoire defended the tax increases, saying, “I don’t believe the economic recovery of the state of Washington relies on cigarettes, candy, gum, bottled water and pop. I don’t.”

Senate Democrats are expected to come out with their own tax package next week, followed by the House.

Tom said the Senate has been waiting on the Legislature to suspend Initiative 960, the tax-limiting measure that requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature for tax increases. A final vote is expected soon.

Lawmakers have to close the $2.8 billion gap in the current two-year budget, which runs through June 2011.

The shortfall represents the amount of money it would take to pay for current state services compared with the amount of tax revenue the state is expected to collect.

The governor’s office projects it would cost about $32.4 billion to maintain existing services through June 2011, and leave $512 million in reserve. However, the state expects to have only around $29.6 billion in tax revenue and other resources on hand to pay the bills.

Gregoire and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have said for weeks they plan to solve the problem through cuts in spending and tax increases.

Democrats say that unless the state brings in more money through taxes, the Legislature will have to whack programs such as subsidized health insurance for thousands of low-income workers, aid to people who can’t work because of disabilities, and financial aid for lower-income college students.

Counting her tax package, Gregoire is proposing nearly $1 billion in budget cuts.

Key elements of the governor’s tax package, and estimates of how much the new taxes would raise, include:

• Oil tax. Triple the existing “hazardous substance” tax on oil and other chemicals to raise $215 million. Of that, $148 million would be dedicated to the general fund, with the remaining $67 million devoted to cleaning up polluted stormwater harmful to Puget Sound and other waterways. Most of the money would be paid by the state’s five oil refineries.

• Bottled water. Add a 1-cent-per-ounce sales tax on bottled water, raising $135 million.

• Soda. Add a 5-cent tax per 12-ounce can of soda and repeal a business-and-occupation tax credit that companies receive for syrup used to make soft drinks. That would raise more than $100 million.

• Cigarettes. Raise the tax on cigarettes by $1, to more than $3 per pack. That would raise an estimated $89 million while discouraging smoking.

• Candy and gum. Extend the state sales tax to candy and gum to bring in $28 million.

• Out-of-state businesses: Impose taxes on some out-of-state companies on the portion of business they do here. The so-called “economic nexus” tax would mainly hit banks and credit-card firms, raising $73 million.

• Tax loopholes: Support a plan by the Department of Revenue to close several “abusive” tax loopholes by which companies dodge or reduce taxes. That would raise about $12 million.

In addition, Gregoire supports legislation to clarify state law to recapture revenue the state could lose as a result of recent court rulings. The largest chunk comes from a ruling that said an out-of-state foodseller qualified for a state tax exemption. In all, the legislation would save or restore an estimated $170 million for the budget.

The governor also is hoping the federal government will send the state $435 million in additional aid.

By Andrew Garber and Jim Brunner, Seattle Times
February 17, 2010

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