DES MOINES, Iowa — Tobacco companies involved in the 1998 landmark settlement have transferred about $52.9 million to the state treasury for this year’s payment.
In the last 23 years, Iowa has received more than $1.36 billion in payments under the settlement. The state will continue to receive annual Master Settlement Agreement payments in perpetuity, based on the number of cigarettes sold in the United States. The MSA is the largest settlement in U.S. history.
“This settlement is nearly a quarter-century old, but our office must diligently monitor and enforce the agreement’s provisions every year so Iowa gets its fair share of the settlement,” Attorney General Tom Miller said.
About $11.6 million of this year’s payment — or 22 percent — will go to the state.
The 78 percent remainder will be used principally to pay bondholders who bought bonds issued by the Tobacco Settlement Authority.
State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald announced Wednesday that Iowa refunded its tobacco settlement bonds this month, resulting in more than $167 million savings for the state over the life of the bonds.
In 1998, Miller and attorneys general of 45 states signed the MSA with the nation’s four largest tobacco companies to settle lawsuits to recover billions of dollars in state health care costs associated with treating smoking-related illnesses.