The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 7, 2013

State takes fight over costly tobacco case to court


The Daily Item

— HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office is pressing another challenge to an arbitration decision in a fight over the collection of payments on tobacco products that could tear a $170 million hole in the state’s finances next year.

The office said today it had filed a motion in Philadelphia common pleas court. A panel of three former federal judges denied an earlier request to reconsider its decision.

The long-running dispute involves whether Pennsylvania appropriately collected taxes on 2003 sales of certain tobacco products.

Tobacco companies in the dispute agreed to a 1998 pact that requires them to pay states for the costs of health care for smokers. Those companies claimed Pennsylvania didn’t adequately collect payments based on the 2003 sales of tobacco products made by competitors that didn’t join the pact.