Tax me. Tax me more. Tax me too much and see the black market BOOM!


sentinelblog

The boom in smuggling to avoid cigarette taxes

By Jonathan Berr, MoneyWatch, March 21, 2014

More than half of the cigarettes sold in New York State are smuggled in from other places to avoid the Empire State’s taxes on smokes, which have soared nearly 200 percent since 2006, according to a report issued by the conservative Tax Foundation.

New York is the highest net importer of smuggled cigarettes — illegal smokes account for 56.9 percent of the state’s total market. New York’s cigarettes tax is $4.35 per pack, the country’s highest. The situation there isn’t unique. The Tax Foundation also cites a study that found that 58.7 percent of discarded cigarettes found in five Northeastern cities lacked proper tax stamps.

Taxes on cigarettes, which are designed to discourage smoking, vary widely. States such as Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia have levies of less than a $1 per pack. These…

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