Albany Co. Law Would Contribute to Steep Tobacco License Fee Hike

Combined State, County Fees Would Jump 183%

ALBANY, NY (07/01/2019) (readMedia)-- License fees for retail stores that sell tobacco and e-cigarettes would skyrocket by 183 percent next year if Albany County's new flavored tobacco law passes, the New York Association of Convenience Stores said today.

Currently, the county's roughly 300 tobacco outlets each pay $300 per year to the State of New York to register as retail dealers of tobacco and vaping products (a total of $90,000).

Under the new state budget, they will have to continue paying $300 to sell tobacco, but they will need to pay another $300 to obtain a separate license to sell vaping products (another $90,000).

On top of that, under Albany County's proposed Local Law E, scheduled to be voted on July 8, they would need to pay another $250 for a county license to sell tobacco and vaping products (another $75,000).

"Layer upon redundant layer of costs for small businesses to feed multiple levels of bureaucracy," lamented NYACS President Jim Calvin. "Albany County already has in their files a current database of all the retail tobacco outlets in the county, furnished to them by the state. So why the need for a local license?"

Local Law E would also ban retail sales of flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes, which NYACS maintains would merely chase adult smokers to neighboring counties and the Internet to obtain such products, hurting Albany County stores and draining sales tax revenue without curtailing smoking.