Kentucky State Government officials could withdraw from the Union of Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) states, despite fierce opposition from out-of-state, Big Tobacco lobbyists. The MSA was the original “Stealth Cartel,” created under the guise of a “settlement” between Big Tobacco and the 46 state signatories.
Kentuckians and politicians alike oppose how the Bluegrass State’s cigarette revenues are unilaterally usurped by the Union of MSA states. As StatesOnTheTake.com founder S. George Alfonso revealed, “The MSA-spawned Stealth Cartel partnership between Big Tobacco and state government continues to flex its financial and political muscle to tilt the free market playing field in ways most beneficial to them, often to the detriment of Citizen Consumers and other independent businesses.”
The MSA requires transference of the Commonwealth’s cigarette revenue, to other larger, more populated signatory states of the MSA, like New York State. Under the MSA, tobacco companies pay about $4.00 per carton into the MSA settlement fund, which is then allocated back to the participating 46 states. Despite the actual number of packs sold in Kentucky being close to the number sold in New York, Kentucky receives only $1.58 for each $4.00 per carton payment (a net loss of $2.42). Conversely, New York receives $12.21 for each $4.00 per carton payment (a net gain of $8.21) or a 305% return.
The MSA has and continues to be the object of substantial ongoing litigation, from Constitutional challenges brought by the Competitive Enterprise Institute to suits brought by private individuals. The current state of affairs makes reliance upon future payments from the MSA agreement (whether negative or surplus payments), questionable at best, and indefinite at worst.
The Stealth Cartel Objects to the Commonwealth Keeping its Cigarette Revenues:
-- The number one Stealth Cartel -- Big Tobacco and their Comrades in Collusion in the State Government, oppose the Commonwealth of Kentucky keeping the money its due from cigarette sales. Deep-pocketed Big Tobacco lobbyists are currently twisting arms to persuade the Commonwealth’s legislators not to level the economic playing field through a flat tax. Such a move would help Kentucky keep additional millions of dollars from the cigarette revenue generated in the Bluegrass State.
Big Tobacco’s army of lawyers are already threatening suits against the Commonwealth, claiming that the proposed flat tax would result in double-taxation payments under the MSA, an outcome that Judge Roger Crittenden has recently addressed as not applicable or correct under the MSA as a story in Tobacco Industry News recently reported.
Kentucky: Take Back Your Revenues – and Your State:
The StatesOnTheTake.com mission is to shine the light of truth on the threat our free market economy faces from Stealth Cartels such as the MSA, which often operate “under the media radar”, on a state-by-state political level. As S. George Alfonso shared, “The Citizen Consumers of Kentucky have a unique opportunity: prove to the rest of the country how an aware and motivated constituency can take back their state from Big Tobacco lobbyists and the Stealth Cartel they represent by changing the law to recover and keep all of their rightfully earned cigarette revenue.”
StatesOnTheTake.com invites the Citizen Consumers of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to sign the petition targeting the Commonwealth’s representatives. Add your voice to other Kentuckians and demand Kentucky keep Kentucky’s money, rather than continuing to unilaterally fork over millions each year to New York and other states, under the guise and supervision of Big Tobacco and their lobbyists.
For more information on Kentucky seceding from the Union of MSA states, as well as news, current events and blog updates on the MSA and other Stealth Cartels, visit www.StatesOnTheTake.com or call (800) 598-7181.