Saturday, March 22, 2014


It always makes me happy to see entrepreneurs engage in business and commerce. The government exists to give them more opportunities and no government is more opportunistic than New York.
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 wide differences make smuggling "both a national problem and a lucrative criminal enterprise," according to the Tax Foundation. 
Thanks guys!

Clearly revenue to the state was secondary to the State's beneficial screw them all tax on smokers. That's not quite how this story parses it though. It reveals that New York is in the game purely for the revenue they can get out of addicts. If you read the link it makes reference to one of the most oft heard and never seen bogeymen, the hit man. Have you ever noticed how 100% of the hit men you hear about are actually undercover police? It makes you wonder.

Oh well, now that the war is over there might be a few people interested in turning their hands to the profitable business of moving a perfectly legal commodity from one side of the New York border to the other side.
Look!!!! A smuggler!


Buck said...

It reveals that New York is in the game purely for the revenue they can get out of addicts.

When it comes to cigarette taxes, they ALL are.

HMS Defiant said...

I remember the commissaries of my youth where the retirees would come every couple of weeks and stock up on CASES of tax-free smokes to take home. Many patrons bought so many CASES of smokes they could barely fit in the car and there was hardly enough room for the booze they picked up at the Class VI. I wonder how many spouses were dumped on the parking lot pavement with assurances that the driver would be back to get them once the 'groceries' were home. :)

Now that I think about it, I have never seen anybody buy cases of smokes since 1986 when our ship's store used to solicit type and numbers of cases of smokes wanted by the smokers onboard to be picked up once we got beyond the 12 mile limit and they could be sold tax free.

I don't know if, now that I think about it, that wasn't an ultra-secret means of cutting DoD payroll expenses by selling the retired folks and their wives the means to kill themselves relatively quickly. No no, mustn't get cynical.

Buck said...

While I never bought my ciggies by the case, I DO remember buying cartons of Luckies for a measly $1.80 at the commissary back in the day. Today that same $1.80 wouldn't even pay the tax on a single pack here in NM.

I think you might be on to something with your death theory. I know for a fact those bloody things have sliced years off my life, and thus a few thousands off of the Fed's obligation.