A tobacco product manufacturer that places money into escrow under subd. 1.
shall receive the interest or other appreciation on that money as earned. The money placed into escrow shall be released from escrow only under the following circumstances:
To pay a judgment or settlement on any released claim brought against that tobacco product manufacturer by this state or any releasing party located or residing in this state. Moneys shall be released from escrow under this paragraph in the order in which they were placed into escrow and only to the extent and at the time necessary to make payments required under the judgment or settlement.
To the extent that a tobacco product manufacturer establishes that the amount it was required to place into escrow on account of the units sold in a particular year was greater than the master settlement agreement payments, as determined under section IX (i) of that agreement including after the final determination of all adjustments, that the manufacturer would have been required to make on account of such units sold had it been a participating manufacturer, the excess shall be released from escrow and revert to that tobacco product manufacturer.
To the extent not released from escrow under subd. 2. a.
, money shall be released from escrow and revert to the tobacco product manufacturer twenty-five years after the date on which the money was placed into escrow.
Each tobacco product manufacturer that elects to place money into escrow under subd. 1.
shall annually certify to the attorney general by each April 15 that the tobacco product manufacturer is in compliance with subds. 1.
The attorney general may bring a civil action on behalf of the state against any tobacco product manufacturer that fails to place into escrow the moneys required under this subsection. Any tobacco product manufacturer that fails in any year to place into escrow the money required under subd. 1.
Be required within 15 days to place money into escrow as shall bring the tobacco product manufacturer into compliance with this subsection. The court, upon a finding of violation of this paragraph, may impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed 5 percent of the amount improperly withheld from escrow per day of the violation and in a total amount not to exceed 100 percent of the original amount improperly withheld from escrow.
In the case of a knowing violation, be required within 15 days to place such funds into escrow as shall bring it into compliance with this subsection. The court, upon a finding of a knowing violation of this paragraph, may impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed 15 percent of the amount improperly withheld from escrow per day of the violation and in a total amount not to exceed 300 percent of the original amount improperly withheld from escrow.
In the case of a second or subsequent knowing violation, be prohibited from selling cigarettes to consumers within this state directly or through a distributor, retailer or similar intermediary for a period not to exceed 2 years.
Each failure to make an annual deposit required under this subsection shall constitute a separate violation.
(3) Awards of costs and attorney fees.
If the attorney general is the prevailing party in an action under this section, the court shall award the attorney general costs and, notwithstanding s. 814.04 (1)
, reasonable attorney fees.
(4) Promulgation of rules.
The department of revenue shall promulgate the rules necessary to ascertain the amount of Wisconsin excise tax paid on the cigarettes of each tobacco product manufacturer that elects to place funds into escrow under this section for each year.
History: 1999 a. 122
; 2003 a. 73
; 2005 a. 155
; Stats. 2005 s. 995.10; 2013 a. 20
Payments under the tobacco settlement agreement. 995.11(1)(1)
In this section, “tobacco settlement agreement" means the Attorneys General Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement of November 23, 1998.
The state's participation in the tobacco settlement agreement is affirmed.
All payments received and to be received by the state under the tobacco settlement agreement are the property of the state, to be used as provided by law, including a sale, assignment, or transfer of the right to receive the payments under s. 16.63
. No political subdivision of the state, and no officer or agent of any political subdivision of the state, shall have or seek to maintain any claim related to the tobacco settlement agreement or any claim against any party that was released from liability by the state under the tobacco settlement agreement.
History: 2001 a. 16
; 2005 a. 155
; Stats. 2005 s. 995.11.
Certification under the tobacco settlement agreement. 995.12(1)(a)
“Brand family" means all styles of cigarettes sold under the same trademark and differentiated from one another by means of additional modifiers or descriptors, including “menthol," “lights," “kings," and “100s," and includes any brand name, alone or in conjunction with any other word; trademark; logo; symbol; motto; selling message; recognizable pattern of colors; or other indicia of product identification identical or similar to, or identifiable with, a previously known brand of cigarettes.
“Department" means the department of revenue.
“Distributor" means a person that is authorized to affix tax stamps to packages or other containers of cigarettes under subch. II of ch. 139
or any person that is required to pay the tax imposed on tobacco products under subch. III of ch. 139
“Nonparticipating manufacturer" means any tobacco product manufacturer that is not a participating manufacturer.
“Participating manufacturer" has the meaning given in section II (jj) of the master settlement agreement.
(2) Certifications; directory; tax stamps. 995.12(2)(a)1.1.
Every tobacco product manufacturer whose cigarettes are sold in this state, whether directly or through a distributor, retailer, or similar intermediary or intermediaries, shall execute and deliver in the manner prescribed by the attorney general a certification to the department and attorney general, no later than the 30th day of April each year, certifying that as of that date the tobacco product manufacturer is either a participating manufacturer or is in full compliance with s. 995.10 (2) (b)
A participating manufacturer shall include in its certification a list of its brand families. The participating manufacturer shall update that list at least 30 calendar days prior to any addition to or modification of its brand families by executing and delivering a supplemental certification to the department and attorney general.
A nonparticipating manufacturer shall include all of the following in its certification:
A list of all of its brand families and the number of units sold for each brand family that were sold in the state during the preceding calendar year.
A list of all of its brand families that have been sold in the state at any time during the current calendar year.
A list of any brand families sold in the state during the preceding calendar year that are no longer being sold in the state as of the date of such certification.
The name and address of any other manufacturer of the brand families in the preceding or current calendar year.
The nonparticipating manufacturer shall update the list under subd. 3.
at least 30 calendar days before any addition to or modification of its brand families by executing and delivering a supplemental certification to the department and attorney general.
The nonparticipating manufacturer shall further certify all of the following:
That the nonparticipating manufacturer is registered to do business in the state or has appointed an agent for service of process and provided notice of that appointment as required by sub. (3)
That the nonparticipating manufacturer has established and continues to maintain a qualified escrow fund and has executed a qualified escrow agreement that has been reviewed and approved by the attorney general and that governs the qualified escrow fund.
That the nonparticipating manufacturer is in full compliance with this section and s. 995.10
The name, address, and telephone number of the financial institution where the nonparticipating manufacturer has established the qualified escrow fund required under s. 995.10 (2) (b)
The account number of the qualified escrow fund and any subaccount number for the state.
The amount the nonparticipating manufacturer placed into the fund for cigarettes sold in the state during the preceding calendar year, the date and amount of each deposit, and any evidence or verification as required by the attorney general.
The amount and date of any withdrawal or transfer of funds the nonparticipating manufacturer made at any time from the fund or from any other qualified escrow fund into which it ever made escrow payments under s. 995.10 (2) (b)
A participating manufacturer may not include a brand family in its certification unless the participating manufacturer affirms that the brand family constitutes its cigarettes for purposes of calculating its payments under the master settlement agreement for the relevant year, in the volume and shares determined under the master settlement agreement.
A nonparticipating manufacturer may not include a brand family in its certification unless it affirms that the brand family constitutes its cigarettes for purposes of s. 995.10
Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting or otherwise affecting the state's right to maintain that a brand family constitutes cigarettes of a different tobacco product manufacturer for purposes of calculating payments under the master settlement agreement or for purposes of s. 995.10
Tobacco product manufacturers shall maintain all invoices and documentation of sales and other such information relied upon for the certification under subd. 5.
for a period of 5 years, unless otherwise required by law to maintain them for a greater period of time.
Directory of cigarettes approved for stamping and sale.
Not later than March 1, 2004, the attorney general shall develop and make available for public inspection a directory listing all tobacco product manufacturers that have provided current and accurate certifications conforming to the requirements of par. (a)
and all brand families that are listed in the certifications, except as follows:
The attorney general shall not include or retain in the directory the name or brand families of any nonparticipating manufacturer that has failed to provide the required certification or whose certification the attorney general determines is not in compliance with par. (a) 3.
, unless the attorney general has determined that the violation has been cured.
Neither a tobacco product manufacturer nor brand family may be included or retained in the directory if the attorney general concludes, in the case of a nonparticipating manufacturer, that any of the following apply:
An escrow payment required under s. 995.10 (2) (b)
for any period for any brand family, whether or not listed by such nonparticipating manufacturer, has not been fully paid into a qualified escrow fund governed by a qualified escrow agreement that has been approved by the attorney general.
Any outstanding final judgment, including interest on that judgment, for a violation of s. 995.10
has not been fully satisfied for the brand family or manufacturer.
The attorney general shall update the directory as necessary to correct mistakes and to add or remove a tobacco product manufacturer or brand family to keep the directory in conformity with the requirements under this paragraph.
Every distributor shall provide and update as necessary an electronic mail address to the attorney general for the purpose of receiving any notifications as may be required under this section.
Prohibition against stamping or sale of cigarettes not in the directory.
It shall be unlawful for any person to affix a stamp to a package or other container of cigarettes of a tobacco product manufacturer or brand family not included in the directory or to sell, or offer or possess for sale, in this state cigarettes of a tobacco product manufacturer or brand family not included in the directory.
Requirement for agent for service of process.
Any nonresident or foreign nonparticipating manufacturer that has not registered to do business in this state as a foreign corporation or business entity shall, as a condition precedent to having its brand families included or retained in the directory under sub. (2) (b)
, appoint and continually engage the services of an agent in this state to act as agent for the service of process on whom all processes, and any action or proceeding against it concerning or arising out of the enforcement of this section and s. 995.10
, may be served in any manner authorized by law. That service shall constitute legal and valid service of process on the nonparticipating manufacturer. The nonparticipating manufacturer shall provide the name, address, phone number, and proof of the appointment and availability of the agent to the attorney general.
Notification of termination of agent.
The nonparticipating manufacturer shall provide notice to the department and attorney general 30 calendar days before termination of the authority of an agent under par. (a)
and shall provide proof to the satisfaction of the attorney general of the appointment of a new agent no less than 5 calendar days before the termination of an existing agent appointment. In the event an agent terminates an agency appointment, the nonparticipating manufacturer shall notify the department and attorney general of that termination within 5 calendar days and shall include proof to the satisfaction of the attorney general of the appointment of a new agent.
Service on department of financial institutions.
Any nonparticipating manufacturer whose cigarettes are sold in this state, who has not appointed and engaged an agent as required in this subsection, shall be considered to have appointed the department of financial institutions as that agent and may be proceeded against in courts of this state by service of process upon the department of financial institutions provided, however, that the appointment of the department of financial institutions as that agent does not satisfy the condition precedent for having the brand families of the nonparticipating manufacturer included or retained in the directory under sub. (2) (b)
(4) Reporting of information; escrow installments. 995.12(4)(a)(a) Reporting by distributors.
Not later than 20 calendar days after the end of each calendar quarter, and more frequently if so directed by the department, each distributor shall submit a report that includes any information that the department requires to facilitate compliance with this section, including a list by brand family of the total number of cigarettes, or, in the case of roll-your-own tobacco, the equivalent stick count, for which the distributor affixed stamps during the previous calendar quarter or otherwise paid the tax due for those cigarettes. The distributor shall maintain, and make available to the department, all invoices and documentation of sales of all nonparticipating manufacturer cigarettes and any other information relied upon in reporting to the department for a period of 5 years.
Disclosure of information.
The department is authorized to disclose to the attorney general any information received under this section and requested by the attorney general for purposes of determining compliance with and enforcing the provisions of this section. The department and attorney general shall share with each other the information received under this section, and may share such information with other federal, state, or local agencies only for purposes of enforcement of this section, s. 995.10
, or corresponding laws of other states.
Verification of qualified escrow fund.
The attorney general may require at any time from the nonparticipating manufacturer proof, from the financial institution in which the manufacturer has established a qualified escrow fund for the purpose of compliance with s. 995.10
, of the amount of money in that fund, exclusive of interest, the amount and date of each deposit into the fund, and the amount and date of each withdrawal from the fund.
Requests for additional information.
In addition to the information required to be submitted under par. (c)
, the attorney general may require a distributor or tobacco product manufacturer to submit any additional information, including samples of the packaging or labeling of each brand family, as is necessary to enable the attorney general to determine whether a tobacco product manufacturer is in compliance with this section.
Quarterly escrow installments.
To promote compliance with this section, the attorney general may promulgate rules requiring a tobacco product manufacturer subject to the requirements of sub. (2) (a) 3.
to make the escrow deposits required in quarterly installments during the year in which the sales covered by such deposits are made. The attorney general may require production of information sufficient to enable the attorney general to determine the adequacy of the amount of the installment deposit.
License revocation and civil penalty.
Upon a determination that a distributor has violated sub. (2) (c)
, the department may revoke or suspend the license of the distributor in the manner provided under s. 139.44 (4)
. Each stamp affixed and each sale of cigarettes or offer or possession to sell cigarettes in violation of sub. (2) (c)
shall constitute a separate violation. For each violation the department may also impose a forfeiture in an amount not to exceed the greater of 500 percent of the retail value of the cigarettes or $5,000.
Contraband and seizure.
Any cigarettes that have been sold, offered for sale, or possessed for sale, in this state, in violation of sub. (2) (c)
shall be deemed contraband and such cigarettes shall be subject to seizure as provided under s. 139.40
. All cigarettes that are seized shall be destroyed and not resold.
The attorney general, on behalf of the department, may seek an injunction to restrain a threatened or actual violation of sub. (2) (c)
or failure to comply with sub. (4) (a)
by a distributor and to compel the distributor to comply with those subsections.
Unlawful sale and distribution.
It shall be unlawful for a person to sell or distribute cigarettes or acquire, hold, own, possess, transport, import, or cause to be imported cigarettes that the person knows or should know are intended for distribution or sale in the state in violation of sub. (2) (c)
. Section 139.44 (7)
, as it applies to violations under subchs. II
and III of ch. 139
, applies to a violation of this paragraph.
Unfair and deceptive trade practice.
A person who violates sub. (2) (c)
engages in an unfair and deceptive trade practice in violation of s. 100.20
(6) Notice and review of determination.
A determination of the attorney general to not include or to remove from the directory under sub. (2) (b)
a brand family or tobacco product manufacturer shall be subject to review in the manner prescribed under ch. 227
(7) Applicants for licenses.
No person shall be issued a license or granted a renewal of a license to act as a distributor unless that person has certified in writing that the person will comply fully with this section.
For the year 2003, the first report of distributors required by sub. (4) (a)
shall be due 30 calendar days after November 27, 2003; the certifications by a tobacco product manufacturer described in sub. (2) (a)
shall be due 45 calendar days after that date; and the directory described in sub. (2) (b)
shall be published or made available within 90 calendar days after that date.
(9) Promulgation of rules.
The attorney general may promulgate rules necessary to effect the purposes of this section.
(10) Recovery of costs and fees by attorney general.
In any action brought by the state to enforce this section, including an action under sub. (5) (c)
the state shall be entitled to recover the costs of investigation and prosecution expert witness fees, court costs, and reasonable attorney fees.
(11) Transfer of profits for violations.
If a court determines that a person has violated this section, the court shall order any profits, gain, gross receipts, or other benefit from the violation to be transferred and paid to the state. Unless otherwise expressly provided, the remedies or penalties provided by this section are cumulative.
If a court finds that the provisions of this section and of s. 995.10
conflict and cannot be harmonized, then the provisions of s. 995.10
shall control. If any part of this section causes s. 995.10
to no longer constitute a qualifying or model statute, as those terms are defined in the master settlement agreement, then that portion of this section is not valid.
History: 2003 a. 73
; 2005 a. 155
; Stats. 2005 s. 995.12; 2007 a. 156
See also ch. Jus 16
, Wis. adm. code.
January 1, the 3rd Monday in January (which shall be the day of celebration for January 15), the 3rd Monday in February (which shall be the day of celebration for February 12 and 22), the last Monday in May (which shall be the day of celebration for May 30), June 19, which shall be the day of observation for Juneteenth Day, July 4, the 1st Monday in September which shall be known as Labor day, the 2nd Monday in October, November 11, the 4th Thursday in November (which shall be the day of celebration for Thanksgiving), December 25, the day of holding the partisan primary election, and the day of holding the general election in November are legal holidays. On Good Friday the period from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. shall uniformly be observed for the purpose of worship. In every 1st class city the day of holding any municipal election is a legal holiday, and in every such city the afternoon of each day upon which a primary election is held for the nomination of candidates for city offices is a half holiday and in counties having a population of 750,000 or more the county board may by ordinance provide that all county employees shall have a half holiday on the day of such primary election and a holiday on the day of such municipal election, and that employees whose duties require that they work on such days be given equivalent time off on other days. Whenever any legal holiday falls on Sunday, the succeeding Monday shall be the legal holiday.
History: 1971 c. 226
; 1973 c. 140
; 1977 c. 187
; Stats. 1977 s. 757.17; 1983 a. 7
; 1983 a. 192
; Stats. 1983 s. 895.20; 2005 a. 155
; Stats. 2005 s. 995.20; 2009 a. 91
; 2011 a. 75
; 2015 a. 198
; 2017 a. 207
, s. 5