Skip to comments.Low-Tax Cigarettes, Made in Store, Draw City Lawsuit
Posted on 11/23/2011 5:05:27 PM PST by Drango
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, as Freud supposedly said, but when is a cigarette a cigarette?
The city filed suit last week against a roll your own cigarette shop in Chinatown and a related one on Staten Island, where a pack of cigarettes can cost less than $5, because the stores are not collecting cigarette taxes. The stores, both called Island Smokes, do not sell packs of Marlboros and Newports. Instead, they sell loose tobacco and cigarette papers, and have machines that let customers fabricate their own cigarettes.
Such stores operate in a legal gray area, arguing that because they do not sell prepackaged cigarettes, they are subject only to taxes on loose tobacco, which are far less. But according to the city, the shops are effectively selling cigarettes and should be forced to charge the full state and city taxes currently $5.85 per pack, which has pushed the cost of most packs in New York City to more than $10.
One man entered and asked if he could buy a pack of Newports. When told that Island Smokes sold only its own tobacco and that customers had to roll their own cigarettes, the man promptly left.
Customers who were rolling cigarettes swore by the shops products, which are advertised as all natural.
Just leave people alone, she added. In this economy, no one can barely afford food, let alone a pack of $15 cigarettes.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
We can’t have someone getting around a punative tax on a legal product, can we?
My grandfather still smokes and his cigarettes cost him about $20 a carton.
He bought a Top-O-Matic cig making machine and buys loose ‘all purpose tobacco’.
The machine works great. He’s had it over a year.
They might have to charge something nominal for the use of the machine, and have that be separate from the tobacco and paper purchases, to make it legally clear.
Nothing pisses of government functionaries more than the thought that money is being spent in a way that keeps it out of their slimy hands ...
You need the tax to pay the subsidies for tobacco farmers...
I think it comes to about $1.70 a pack
You should hire an illegal alien to roll them for you.
In 10 or 15 years NYC will be Detroit. If they are lucky.
There is no "legally clear" here. There is just you are violating the intent of the lawmakers -- whether or not they explained it properly. Another law will soon be forthcoming expressly forbidding the in-store rolling of cigarettes. To be followed shortly thereafter by one forbidding it in the home.
And so it goes. And people who don't smoke will say, "It doesn't affect me."
I believe there’s a case in fed court already, but I can’t find it now darn it.
Meanwhile, this is in the Senate:
“An excerpt from S. 1403 (The IDEA Full Funding Act) is posted below. You will notice that a portion of this legislation even refers to itself as the Saving Lives by Lowering Tobacco Use Act. They are openly admitting that they want to make tobacco so expensive that people cannot afford to use it .
SEC. 3. TOBACCO TAX INCREASE AND PARITY.
(a) Short Title- This section may be cited as the Saving Lives by Lowering Tobacco Use Act.
(b) Increase in Excise Tax on Small Cigars and Cigarettes-
(1) SMALL CIGARS- Section 5701(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking $50.33 and inserting $100.50.
(2) CIGARETTES- Section 5701(b) of such Code is amended
(A) by striking $50.33 in paragraph (1) and inserting $100.50, and
(B) by striking $105.69 in paragraph (2) and inserting $211.04.
(c) Tax Parity for Pipe Tobacco and Roll-Your-Own Tobacco-
(1) PIPE TOBACCO- Section 5701(f) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking $2.8311 cents and inserting $49.55.
(2) ROLL-YOUR-OWN TOBACCO- Section 5701(g) of such Code is amended by striking $24.78 and inserting $49.55.
(d) Clarification of Definition of Small Cigars- Paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 5701(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 are each amended by striking three pounds per thousand and inserting four and one-half pounds per thousand.
(e) Clarification of Definition of Cigarette- Paragraph (2) of section 5702(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by inserting before the final period the following: , which includes any roll for smoking containing tobacco that weighs no more than four and a half pounds per thousand, unless it is wrapped in whole tobacco leaf and does not have a cellulose acetate or other cigarette-style filter.
(f) Tax Parity for Smokeless Tobacco-
(1) IN GENERAL- Section 5701(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended
(A) in paragraph (1), by striking $1.51 and inserting $26.79;
(B) in paragraph (2), by striking 50.33 cents and inserting $10.72; and
(C) by adding at the end the following:
(3) SMOKELESS TOBACCO SOLD IN DISCRETE SINGLE-USE UNITS- On discrete single-use units, $100.50 per each 1,000 single-use units..
I make my own for less than $7 per carton.
Watch what happens when the anger boils over.
I really hate to say ‘back in my day’ (really) but add .30 to the $15.00 per pack and I was able to buy 17 cartons of cigarettes.
Of course, didn’t really have the 15 bucks to spare - Ships Store would sell a carton of cigarettes for $.90 but if you ‘forced’ them to open the carton a pack was .10.
Of course one could ‘trade’ a pack of cigarettes for various pleasures once ashore.
Personally, I’m opposed to smoking but don’t believe in a ban or even special sin taxes.
But it stinks to high heaven if the letter of the law can’t be counted on. As if even a nebulous intent of a legislature meant anything, if you ask Barack Obama and what he’s doing with the IRS!!!
Anyhow, they should at least force passage of a law to tax this, too before presuming to sue for the taxes.
So now there will be stores with machines that can wrap your tobacco in whole tobacco leaf. And so it goes, Wile E. Coyote versus the Road Runner!