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Holy smokes: State sends Pleasant Hill man hefty cigarette tax bill
Contra Costa Times ^ | 8/28/11 | Lisa P. White

Posted on 08/28/2011 3:11:07 PM PDT by SmithL

PLEASANT HILL -- To get a good deal, Paul Brodman used to buy cigarettes online.

Little did he know, those smokes weren't the bargain they appeared to be. There's no getting out of paying state taxes simply by buying cigarettes online.

Earlier this month, Brodman received a bill for $1,398 from the State Board of Equalization for back taxes and penalties he owes for 100 cartons of cigarettes he bought online from an out-of-state retailer in 2007 and 2008. Initially, Brodman thought it was a mistake.

"We smoked them; we didn't resell them," he said. "I wasn't selling them on the corner."

When he bought cigarettes online, Brodman should have paid the state an excise tax of 87 cents per pack, plus a use tax of 8.25 percent on the total purchase amount.

"We know that people make purchases out of state and online looking for a deal, and they know they're getting away with something, or they should know they're getting away with something," said Anita Gore, spokeswoman for the State Board of Equalization. "It is the law that these taxes be paid."

Brodman says he turned to the Internet because cigarettes were "substantially cheaper" than at the corner store.

One reason cigarettes are more expensive in California than in some other states is because voters have added several surtaxes to cigarettes and other tobacco products over the years. The base cigarette tax is 12 cents per pack. The additional 75-cent tax on each pack funds tobacco-related health education programs and

(Excerpt) Read more at contracostatimes.com ...


TOPICS: Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: cigarettes; goldenstate; pufflist; salestax; smoking; statesalestax; taxandspend; taxes; taxman
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1 posted on 08/28/2011 3:11:12 PM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL

He should have driven to another state and loaded down his trunk and then sold them to his neighbors.


2 posted on 08/28/2011 3:14:10 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: SmithL
If the heavy tax burden is not enough incentive to quit smoking then I have no sympathy. Pay the freight, knock yourselves out.
3 posted on 08/28/2011 3:14:39 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: SmithL

4 posted on 08/28/2011 3:16:58 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: SmithL

“State Board of Equalization”

At least they are honest about their purpose.


5 posted on 08/28/2011 3:17:11 PM PDT by hiho hiho
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To: hinckley buzzard

Last line of the story at the link:

The good news? Brodman and his wife quit smoking a few years ago when the price of a pack of cigarettes reached $5.


6 posted on 08/28/2011 3:17:36 PM PDT by John W (Natural-born US citizen since 1955)
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To: GeronL

They have people out looking for just such across the line purchasers...


7 posted on 08/28/2011 3:18:31 PM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: SmithL
Meathead wants his tribute.
8 posted on 08/28/2011 3:18:55 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Palin is coming, and the Tea Party is coming with her.)
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To: SmithL

The state taxes are determined by the citizens of that state. If the people of California do not like paying high taxes for cigarettes, then why don’t they just lower those taxes?


9 posted on 08/28/2011 3:19:30 PM PDT by CGalen
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To: GeronL

That just might get him jail time.


10 posted on 08/28/2011 3:19:42 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: hinckley buzzard
Today it's cigs...tomorrow..whatever you may use...
11 posted on 08/28/2011 3:22:23 PM PDT by Crim (Palin / West '12)
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To: SmithL
In fiscal year 2010-11, the Board of Equalization issued 1,723 bills under the "Cigarette Internet Program," collecting about $1.6 million in revenue. Of that amount, $1.4 million was excise tax and $234,193 was use tax.

Sounds like the state can't afford for people to not smoke.

12 posted on 08/28/2011 3:24:49 PM PDT by optiguy (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.----- Ronald Reagan)
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To: Crim
"Today it's cigs...tomorrow..whatever you may use... "

It's amazing how many people do not get that, even ones who claim to be conservative. It's the basic liberal club entry test "Do you agree other people should pay more taxes".
13 posted on 08/28/2011 3:29:24 PM PDT by JoSixChip (Top 10% of wage earners pay 70% of total income taxes collected. Bottom 50% pay less then 3%, fair?)
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To: hinckley buzzard
If the heavy tax burden is not enough incentive to quit smoking then I have no sympathy.

IIRC, Ohio was funding a number of state program from the funds collected from taxing cigarettes. When the state cranked up the tax, the income from the tax actually fell, and I recall the state complaining about the lack of funds.

When the government shakedown of the tobacco industry came about, I sent an email to RJ Reynolds. I told them that they should just agree with the congress-critters, and say, "Yup, we've been bad. Tobacco is bad. To make up for it, we will no longer sell cigarettes in the US, we will no longer buy tobacco from American farmers, and we will move our production to another country. That way we will no longer participate in the harming of Americans.

The congress-critters collective heads would explode! I believe that states and the federal government actually make more on the sale of cigarettes than the retailer or manufacturers. And NYC has cranked up the tax on cigarettes to the point that a pack is about $10!

Mark

14 posted on 08/28/2011 3:32:32 PM PDT by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: SmithL

“The State Board of Equalization”...has a Nazi ring to it, eh? Also has an ObamaNation ring to it. Go figure!!!


15 posted on 08/28/2011 3:34:42 PM PDT by TheConservativeParty (PALIN 45 -The cure for "meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Resisting Tyranny Since 1-20-2009)
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To: optiguy
the Board of Equalization

I bet this "Board" is chalk full of little Mussolini's.

16 posted on 08/28/2011 3:35:21 PM PDT by Michael Barnes (Obamaa+ Downgrade)
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To: SmithL

I don’t think you can buy cancer sticks online anymore can you? The Post Office won’t ship them and FedEx/UPS won’t either.

Is online still an option?


17 posted on 08/28/2011 3:35:36 PM PDT by Drango (NO-vember is payback for April 15th)
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To: Drango

You can get cigars online, I know that.


18 posted on 08/28/2011 3:36:56 PM PDT by HerrBlucher ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." G.K. Chesterton)
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To: CGalen

“The state taxes are determined by the citizens of that state. If the people of California do not like paying high taxes for cigarettes, then why don’t they just lower those taxes?”
The state and federal supreme court would probably deem
that unconstitutional. Good luck Kalifornia, your toast.
Eventually it will be cheaper to just give the libtard state
to Mexico rather than let it continue to mooch of the rest
of the country.


19 posted on 08/28/2011 3:37:02 PM PDT by Slambat (The right to keep and bear arms. Anything one man can carry, drive or pull.)
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To: hinckley buzzard
If the heavy tax burden is not enough incentive to quit smoking then I have no sympathy. Pay the freight, knock yourselves out.

I'm pretty sure you like something that we could tax out of your lifestyle if enough of us don't like you using it.

The manufacturers, distributors and retailers make so little on this LEGAL product that it is ridiculous.

The state and federal gooberments make billions without contributing anything to the manufacture, distribution, marketing or sale of the product.

That is Totalitarianism in my book, is extremely offensive and needs to be stopped right now.

20 posted on 08/28/2011 3:38:17 PM PDT by elkfersupper (Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: SmithL
said Anita Gore, spokeswoman for the State Board of Equalization.

Hmmmm. Gore? I wonder how close her relationship to climate freak algore is. State Board of Equalization = redistribution of wealth.

21 posted on 08/28/2011 3:43:29 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, please let it rain in Texas. Amen.)
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To: hiho hiho

[[ “State Board of Equalization”
At least they are honest about their purpose. ]]

That sounds like something right out of Atlas Shrugged...

Or George Orwell...

Just sayin’...


22 posted on 08/28/2011 3:44:07 PM PDT by Grumplestiltskin (I may look new, but it's only deja vu!)
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To: John W
quit smoking a few years ago when the price of a pack of cigarettes reached $5.

I quit when the price of a pack went over $1.75 at the PX.

23 posted on 08/28/2011 3:45:31 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, please let it rain in Texas. Amen.)
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To: SmithL

From personal experience and in all honesty, the CA “State Board of Equalization” is complete truth in advertising. They are the meanest tax collection bastards imaginable. I escaped from fascist CA and will never set foot there again.

Oh, and the math as stated in the article does not add up. The total was a heck of a lot more than stated for 100 cartons.


24 posted on 08/28/2011 3:45:36 PM PDT by Jacquerie
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To: John W

I quit smoking when the Navy Exchange raised the price of a pack to 29¢.


25 posted on 08/28/2011 3:47:04 PM PDT by SmithL
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To: hinckley buzzard

One day, all you folks who like to unfairly tax your neighbors will get yours.


26 posted on 08/28/2011 3:48:55 PM PDT by mylife (OPINIONS ~ $ 1.00 HALFBAKED ~ 50c)
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To: Drango

“I don’t think you can buy cancer sticks online anymore can you? The Post Office won’t ship them and FedEx/UPS won’t either.”

I heard 9 cartons of 100’s fit into a large flat rate box... When has the post office ever ask the content? They just ask if it is breakable and/or hazardous...


27 posted on 08/28/2011 3:49:16 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
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To: CGalen
The state taxes are determined by the citizens of that state. If the people of California do not like paying high taxes for cigarettes, then why don’t they just lower those taxes?
It wasn't the smokers that raised the tobacco taxes.

An overwhelming majority of Californians, including those who call themselves Republicans, are perfectly happy to vote to raise taxes, as long as those taxes apply to someone else.

28 posted on 08/28/2011 3:52:00 PM PDT by SmithL
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To: Jacquerie

“The total was a heck of a lot more than stated for 100 cartons.”

Don’t forget penalties, interest, and extra charges added just because they can.


29 posted on 08/28/2011 3:56:26 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: SmithL
Here is my real concern:

Under federal law, online cigarette retailers must report purchase information to state tax collectors, Gore said. Some sellers submit monthly invoices, she said, while it sometimes takes a little legal arm-twisting from state attorneys general to get the data from reluctant retailers.

30 posted on 08/28/2011 3:58:42 PM PDT by umgud
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To: SmithL
Was that the “inside the twelve mile territorial limit” price or beyond it?
Once we sailed past the line a carton of smokes on board went from 3 dollars to 2.50.
We sold them in Europe (when we could sneak them off the ship) for 12 dollars a carton—them foreigners LOVED American tobacco.
31 posted on 08/28/2011 4:00:07 PM PDT by Happy Rain ("11/4/2008: The day America elected a pyromaniac in the middle of a fire storm.")
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To: SmithL

I call myself a Republican and a conservative. And I’ve served on the GOP Central Committee and been to many a FReeper and Tea Party rally. Proud to say I, and millions of other conservatives support taxes on cigarettes.

Econ 101. An increase in price produces a decrease in demand.


32 posted on 08/28/2011 4:00:32 PM PDT by Drango (NO-vember is payback for April 15th)
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To: Drango
I call myself a Republican and a conservative. And I’ve served on the GOP Central Committee and been to many a FReeper and Tea Party rally. Proud to say I, and millions of other conservatives support taxes on cigarettes.

You are incorrect in your self-assessment. You are a statist, regardless of whatever else you call yourself or do.

33 posted on 08/28/2011 4:02:56 PM PDT by elkfersupper (Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: SmithL

The Beatles – Taxman — 1966

Let me tell you how it will be;
There’s one for you, nineteen for me.
‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don’t take it all.
‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

(If you drive a car) — I’ll tax the street;
(If you try to sit) — I’ll tax your seat;
(If you get too cold) — I’ll tax the heat;
(If you take a walk) — I’ll tax your feet.

Taxman!

‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Don’t ask me what I want it for, (ah-ah, mister Wilson)
If you don’t want to pay some more. (ah-ah, mister heath)
‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Now my advice for those who die, (taxman)
Declare the pennies on your eyes. (taxman)
‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

And you’re working for no one but me.

Taxman!


34 posted on 08/28/2011 4:04:59 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: elkfersupper

Yawnnnn.


35 posted on 08/28/2011 4:05:10 PM PDT by Drango (NO-vember is payback for April 15th)
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To: SmithL

His mistake was in not using a proxy buyer. When asked, companies will invariably kick down your information to government. So the only way out, if you live under an oppressive government, is to not use the direct route.

In this case, he and several other smokers could have made a deal to buy their smokes in bulk, on one of the four Indian reservation on the California border area in Arizona.

They give him their money, then on a weekend, one of them drives across the border and picks up a lot of cigarettes, for delivery back to the group.

At about $3+ a pack in federal and State taxes in California, for $5 a pack total, this can add up to a lot of savings in a hurry.

I’m sure lots of Californians do this on a regular basis already.


36 posted on 08/28/2011 4:05:59 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: SmithL

I got one from the lovely state of Maryland for over $800 just a couple of weeks ago. My husband is a lawyer and is fighting it.


37 posted on 08/28/2011 4:06:35 PM PDT by beandog
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To: Drango

“An increase in price produces a decrease in demand.”

Who the hell are you to produce a decrease in demand by levying heavy taxes something that other people want?

Seig Heil, RINO.


38 posted on 08/28/2011 4:08:07 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: Drango

“An increase in price produces a decrease in demand.”

Who the hell are you to produce a decrease in demand by levying heavy taxes on something that other people want?

Seig Heil, RINO.


39 posted on 08/28/2011 4:08:57 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: dsc
Seig Heil

I don't mind being called a Nazi by addicts or those who pimp death.

40 posted on 08/28/2011 4:10:49 PM PDT by Drango (NO-vember is payback for April 15th)
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To: Drango
Proud to say I, and millions of other non-smoking conservatives support taxes on other people's cigarettes.

There, fixed it for you.

41 posted on 08/28/2011 4:11:12 PM PDT by Bob
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To: SmithL
Ah, for all you anti-smoking ZEALOTS (and I was under the impression this was a CONSERVATIVE site which abhored taxes?) unless I am mistaken, whenever ANYTHING is purchases online, in ANY State, the buyer is responsible for reporting (AND PAYING) the sales tax for said item.

So, now, who is going to try and admit they never bought anything online and if so, dutifully paid every penny of taxes due your State?

Remember, today they are going after those who purchased cigs; tomorrow some of you may be getting one of those "notices" in the mail!

And yes I smoke and yes I used to buy cigs online until thanks to that Fascist Moonbat Elliot (Client No. 9) Spitzer who browbeat Credit Card Co.'s into not processing orders, it became more difficult but not impossible.

Not satisfied with that, he "cajoled" and threatened Fed Ex and all other carriers to stop accepting shipments.

Well for some reason the USPS escaped scrutiny, until last year, when our Dear Leader signed a Bill (introduced by NY Legistlators who lose the most as they have several Indian Reservations) stopping that.

So now as far as I know, one can no longer buy tobacco products online.

42 posted on 08/28/2011 4:11:50 PM PDT by Conservative Vermont Vet (l)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

First 5, just another ca.gov slush fund


43 posted on 08/28/2011 4:12:00 PM PDT by twistedwrench
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To: Drango

You are not a conservative no matter what you may claim to be.


44 posted on 08/28/2011 4:15:05 PM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: CGalen

HA! Funniest thing I’ve read this week.


45 posted on 08/28/2011 4:15:28 PM PDT by steveo (PETO-VT-IN-MARI-SVB-CRVCE-AVSTRALI-SEPELIAR)
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To: Drango

“I don’t mind being called a Nazi by addicts or those who pimp death.”

You’re zero for two, Heinrich. I neither use nor sell nor advertise tobacco in any form.

I just have a case of the red ass for tobacco Nazis, especially those who want to tax something out of existence because the good people of the United States refused to outlaw it.


46 posted on 08/28/2011 4:19:02 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: SmithL

I am A republican and I woulkd never vote for anyone proposing raising taxes. And I California pols. And I live in a red county but pay for all the blue ones. California sucks!!!


47 posted on 08/28/2011 4:19:22 PM PDT by crazydad
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To: CGalen; SmithL
If the people of California do not like paying high taxes for cigarettes, then why don’t they just lower those taxes?

Smoking is not very popular in CA. I don't know whether the chicken or the egg were first here, but a large number of people (can't say majority without specific numbers in hand) don't smoke. You can walk around a typical company building that employs 2,000 workers and count smokers outside on fingers of one hand.

Myself, I don't smoke, never smoked, and I avoid tobacco smoke in every way possible.

48 posted on 08/28/2011 4:19:38 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: Conservative Vermont Vet
no longer buy tobacco products online.

The PACT ACT prohibiting shipping by the postal service was passed UNANIMOUSLY by the Senate. Both conservatives and liberal senators think smokers suck.

49 posted on 08/28/2011 4:22:19 PM PDT by Drango (NO-vember is payback for April 15th)
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To: Conservative Vermont Vet

“So now as far as I know, one can no longer buy tobacco products online.”

I swear if I didn’t have small children counting on me, I’d get a muscle car and start smuggling cigs.

Camel straights only. I hate to look down and see a pile of cigarette filters.


50 posted on 08/28/2011 4:23:12 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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