Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Smugglers of the World, Unite!

If it were federal legislation, it could be titled the Mafia Restoration Act of 2002. New York City is raising the per-pack tax on cigarettes to $1.50 (on top of the $1.50 levied by the state), bringing the cost of the average pack to somewhere around $7.50. With taxes significantly lower in nearby states and even outside the city, the new tax creates a massive incentive for entrepreneurs with a relaxed attitude toward the law to provide untaxed cigarettes to the smokers of New York. The new tax is expected to raise over $100 million this year alone for the city; I wonder if they’ve estimated how much of that will be spent trying to interdict menthol-laden trucks from out of state.


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