We recently published a map showing how far $100 would take you in different states. For example, in states with low costs of living, like Arkansas, $100 had the same sort of purchasing power that $115 would have in an...
- Reuters quotes Scott Drenkard on New York's cigarett...
Reuters quotes Scott Drenkard on New York's cigarette smuggling problem
By Hilary Russ | Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:15pm EST
(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.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Leslie Adler)
Hearing on Tobacco: Taxes Owed, Avoided, and Evaded
Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance
Chairman Wyden, Ranking Member Hatch, and members of the Committee:
- Large differentials in cigarette taxes across states create incentives for black market sales.
- Smuggled cigarettes make up substantial portions of cigarette consumption in many states, and greater than 25...
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