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2015 SESSION

15105013D
SENATE BILL NO. 1231
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee on Appropriations
on February 11, 2015)
(Patrons Prior to Substitute--Senators Reeves and Howell)
A BILL to amend and reenact 58.1-1017.1 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 1 of Chapter 10 of Title 58.1 a section numbered 58.1-1017.3, relating to cigarettes; contraband; fraudulent purchase; penalties.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 58.1-1017.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Article 1 of Chapter 10 of Title 58.1 a section numbered 58.1-1017.3 as follows:

58.1-1017.1. Possession with intent to distribute tax-paid, contraband cigarettes; penalties

Any person who possesses, with intent to distribute, more than 5,000 (25 cartons) but fewer than 100,000 (500 cartons) 40,000 (200 cartons) tax-paid cigarettes is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor for a first offense and is guilty of a Class 6 felony for any second or subsequent offense. Any person who possesses, with intent to distribute, 100,000 (500 cartons) 40,000 (200 cartons) or more tax-paid cigarettes is guilty of a Class 6 felony for a first offense and is guilty of a Class 5 felony for a second or subsequent offense. Additionally, any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of (i) $2.50 per pack, but no less than $5,000, for a first offense; (ii) $5 per pack, but no less than $10,000, for a second such offense committed within a 36-month period; and (iii) $10 per pack, but no less than $50,000, for a third or subsequent such offense committed within a 36-month period. The civil penalties shall be assessed and collected by the Department as other taxes are collected.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to an authorized holder.

58.1-1017.3. Fraudulent purchase of cigarettes; penalties.

Any person who purchases any quantity of cigarettes equal to or exceeding one carton of cigarettes or more using a business license obtained under false pretenses, a forged or invalid Virginia sales and use tax exemption certificate, or a Virginia sales and use tax exemption certificate obtained under false pretenses shall be assessed a civil penalty of (i) $2.50 per pack, but no less than $5,000, for a first offense; (ii) $5 per pack, but no less than $10,000, for a second such offense committed within a 36-month period; and (iii) $10 per pack, but no less than $50,000, for a third or subsequent such offense committed within a 36-month period. The civil penalties shall be assessed and collected by the Department as other taxes are collected.