471-b. Imposition of tobacco products tax
1. There is hereby imposed and shall be paid a tax on all tobacco products possessed in this state by any person for sale, except that no tax shall be imposed on tobacco products sold under such circumstances that this state is without power to impose such tax, or sold to the United States, or sold to or by a voluntary unincorporated organization of the armed forces of the United States operating a place for the sale of goods pursuant to regulations promulgated by the appropriate executive agency of the United States, to the extent provided in such regulations and policy statements of such an agency applicable to such sales.
(a) Such tax on tobacco products other than snuff and little cigars shall be at the rate of seventy-five percent of the wholesale price, and is intended to be imposed only once upon the sale of any tobacco products other than snuff and little cigars.
(b) Such tax on snuff shall be at the rate of two dollars per ounce and a proportionate rate on any fractional parts of an ounce, provided that cans or packages of snuff with a net weight of less than one ounce shall be taxed at the equivalent rate of cans or packages weighing one ounce. Such tax shall be computed based on the net weight as listed by the manufacturer, and is intended to be imposed only once upon the sale of any snuff.
(c) Such tax on little cigars shall be at the same rate imposed on cigarettes under this article and is intended to be imposed only once upon the sale of any little cigars.
It shall be presumed that all tobacco products within the state are subject to tax until the contrary is established, and the burden of proof that any tobacco products are not taxable hereunder shall be upon the person in possession thereof.
2. The distributor shall be liable for the payment of the tax on tobacco products which he imports or causes to be imported into the state, or which he manufactures in the state, and every distributor authorized by the commissioner of taxation and finance to make returns and pay the tax on tobacco products sold, shipped or delivered by him to any person in the state shall be liable for the payment of the tax on all tobacco products so sold, shipped or delivered.
3. Every dealer shall be liable for the tax on all tobacco products in his possession at any time, upon which tax has not been paid or assumed by a distributor appointed by the commissioner of taxation and finance, and the failure of any dealer to produce and exhibit to the commissioner of taxation and finance or his authorized representative upon demand, an invoice by a distributor or licensed wholesale dealer for any tobacco products in his possession shall be presumptive evidence that the tax thereon has not been paid, and that such dealer is liable for the tax thereon unless evidence of such invoice, payment or assumption shall later be produced.