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New York - State Ranks First For Smuggled Cigarettes In U.S.

Published on: January 10, 2013 06:38 PM
By: Reuters
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(EPA FILE PHOTO/ALAA BADARNEH(EPA FILE PHOTO/ALAA BADARNEH

New York - New York State sells more bootlegged cigarettes than any state, with 60.9 percent of the cigarettes sold secreted into its borders improperly, according to a report released on Thursday.

Arizona and New Mexico also had high rates of smuggled cigarettes, at 54.4 percent and 53.0 percent, respectively, according to the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C., business-oriented tax research organization.

New York has higher tobacco taxes than any other state, at $4.35 per pack. That does not include a local New York City tax of $1.50 per pack, the group said.

“Dramatic increases in state cigarette taxes have yielded additional revenue for priorities like public health, but have also fueled the rise of organized crime and law enforcement corruption,” said Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard in a statement.

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The foundation used data from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Michigan think-tank.

Cigarettes can be bootlegged by bringing in lower-priced packs from other states, counterfeiting state tax stamps, hijacking trucks or bribing officials to ignore illegal shipments.

States, cities and the federal government have hiked taxes on tobacco products in order to raise revenue and encourage smokers to quit.

A USA Today analysis found in September that a 39 cent federal cigarette tax hike signed by President Barack Obama in 2009 contributed to at least 3 million more people giving up the habit.


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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 10, 2013 at 06:52 PM shredready Says:

makes sense since we have the highest cigarette tax

2

 Jan 10, 2013 at 06:54 PM PMOinFL Says:

I just goes to show you, tax abuses by the government only breed contempt and force everyone to look for alternatives, even if it means committing crimes.

FACT: You can import 200 cigarettes per person per day DUTY FREE for personal use. There are many sites online that can facilitate this for you. That is FEDERAL LAW.

There is no need to engage in illegal activities to avoid the communist, abusive government taxes that your non-smoking friends voted for. You see, when the self-righteous non-smokers get on their high-horse and insist on using the tax code to FORCE you to change your behavior, all they really do is create opportunities for the criminal underworld.

3

 Jan 10, 2013 at 07:03 PM DRE53 Says:

It's no wonder to me that higher taxes are gasoline for black markets.

4

 Jan 10, 2013 at 07:35 PM pbalaw Says:

That's right who in their right mind is going to bend over and pay $12 a pack when they sell it in Virginia for 5?

5

 Jan 10, 2013 at 08:03 PM Facts1 Says:

Of course, it has the highest taxes.

6

 Jan 10, 2013 at 08:11 PM shlomogabai Says:

Guess thats what happens when people feel robbed by their officials through excessive taxes they cant afford.

7

 Jan 10, 2013 at 08:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
PMOinFL Says:

I just goes to show you, tax abuses by the government only breed contempt and force everyone to look for alternatives, even if it means committing crimes.

FACT: You can import 200 cigarettes per person per day DUTY FREE for personal use. There are many sites online that can facilitate this for you. That is FEDERAL LAW.

There is no need to engage in illegal activities to avoid the communist, abusive government taxes that your non-smoking friends voted for. You see, when the self-righteous non-smokers get on their high-horse and insist on using the tax code to FORCE you to change your behavior, all they really do is create opportunities for the criminal underworld.

As a somewhat righteous non-smoker who is quite verbal when someone lights up near me I heartily wish no one had ever discovered tobacco could be used for smoking. It's a vile practice that also affects the non-smokers one lives and/or works with. I also think the government has no business specifically raising taxes on items that are considered bad for one's health. That includes cigarettes, alcohol, soda with sugar, foods with trans-fats, etc. This from a moderately liberal Democrat.

8

 Jan 10, 2013 at 09:03 PM Anonymous Says:

I meant to say "self-righteous" in my earlier post #7.

9

 Jan 13, 2013 at 02:57 PM Anon Says:

Reply to #1  
shredready Says:

makes sense since we have the highest cigarette tax

It probably has little to do with the tax level and a lot to do with geography. All 3 states cited are border states, but the Arizona and New Mexico borders are secured. The NY border with Canada is not only unsecured, there are Native American reservations there that cannot legllly be policed by the US government. These tribes also have members in Canada, making an ideal situation for smuggling. The cigarettes are easily brought to the US reservations and resold.

10

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