President Obama recently gave a lengthy speech on inequality, poverty, and what to do about it. He claimed inequality is increasing, which is debatable, and then offered a few populist ways to reduce it, such as raising...
- Reuters quotes Scott Drenkard on New York's cigarette smugglin...
Reuters quotes Scott Drenkard on New York's cigarette smuggling problem
By Hilary Russ
(Reuters) - 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.
"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.
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 tobaccoproducts 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.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D) recently proposed his 2014-2015 biennial budget, which includes $2.1 billion in revenue increases. Included are increased income taxes on high-...
Public policies often have unintended consequences that outweigh their benefits. One consequence of high state cigarette tax rates has been increased smuggling, as criminals procure discounted packs from low-tax states to sell in high-tax states...
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