Tax affects smokers and tobacco retailers

Smokers may be interested to know that a tax on cigarettes will increase Jan. 1, said Bob Estabrook, spokesman at the Oregon Department of Revenue.

The state tax on a standard, 20-count pack of cigarettes will increase by 13 cents, or from $1.18 to $1.31, Estabrook said.

The increase is result of legislation passed in a special legislative session this fall, according to a recent press lease from the Oregon Department of Revenue.

“Ordinarily, the consumer pays the tax as a part of the price when purchasing cigarettes from an Oregon retailer,” said Chris Wytoski, manager of Oregon’s tobacco tax program.

The state is working with retailers and distributors to ensure the appropriate tax is paid on their inventory Jan. 1.

“Retailers who haven’t seen our information about the special one-time tax return they need to file should contact us right away,” Wytoski said.

The department reminds cigarette buyers they are responsible for filing and paying tax on cigarettes purchased online or brought in from out of state.

Oregon’s annual revenue from cigarette and tobacco taxes is about $250 million, Estabrook said.

The revenue goes toward the Oregon Health Plan, the state general fund and the Tobacco Use Reduction Account, he said.

Portions of cigarette tax revenue also are distributed to cities, counties, public transit and, with recent legislation, mental health programs, Estabrook said.

More information for consumers, retailers and distributors is available at

Consumers can obtain the form they need from the “consumer reporting” link at or by calling 503-378-4988 or 1-800-356-4222.

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