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Judge blocks state tobacco crackdown

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Dane County judge has temporarily blocked a state crackdown on roll-your-own cigarette machines.

The Department of Revenue has informed owners of the machines they need permits to operate, saying customers who buy loose tobacco from the stores and then use the machines to roll it into cigarettes are saving on taxes.

Robert Petersen, who owns Rib Mountain Tobacco and Liquor, filed a lawsuit in Madison this week seeking a temporary injunction to allow tobacco store owners to continue to operate the machines.

He said store owners already pay a tax on the loose tobacco and turn the manufacturing process over to the customer.

Judge Juan B. Colás granted the injunction Friday evening and set a hearing for Nov 23. DOR officials say they’re disappointed with the decision.

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