Skip to comments.High Tobacco Taxes Spark Huge Black Market in Northeast
Posted on 01/07/2014 6:18:03 AM PST by Hoodat
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...
Meanwhile, liberals continue to believe that setting at tax rate at 100% will bring in the most revenue.
Sheesh....why can’t I ever find these black market cigarettes? I’d buy ‘em in a minute :-)
Untaxed tobacco is easy to grow. This one isn't actually supposed to be growing, it's the wrong time of year, but a seed wound up in my fall potting soil mix, and I let it live.
.50 BMG shown for scale.
I remember in the mid 2000s buying two Beatles CDs from a street vendor at a great price and when I opened them there was no stamped decorative label on the actual CD, just a stamped #.
The insert paper foldout pictures were not prenent
The CDs worked fine
I think Michael Jackson didn’t get his cut of that sale.
Odd, considering that New Englanders love big government, paying taxes, and socialist programs.
More power to 'em !
People who buy black market cigs just hate children’s health programs, which tobacco taxes fund ;-)
The free and noncoerced exchange of goods and services, ie, the free market, is the default condition, like gravity.
The left can try to impose their version of Utopia but it’s like trying to overcome gravity. Eventually, it falls down to the default state.
"Black market cigs": Having a buddy/relative living in Virginia, who brings a few cases of cigs every time he visits.
I dont know how it propagates, but you should encorage that!
dang, that's a good'n !
So, how long before the number of packs a person can buy ANYWHERE in the country is limited? It’s amazing that Bloomberg didn’t try to pass a law prohibiting Virginia from selling cigarettes at a lower price than New York. It wouldn’t have forced Virginia to do it but it would have made Bloomberg feel good.
I don't smoke myself, but I'm getting so sick of this nanny government, I'm honestly thinking of turning this into a side business. Cartons of cigs are very easy to transport and the difference in tax rates are getting too big to ignore.
This is not unlike Canadians I have known who would brag about their more compassionate government, but then slam malls in Michigan every weekend and smuggle home five layers of new clothing to evade the GST.
Never mind that, don’t you know it is all the evil and heartless Republicans’ fault?
Shorter - Buuuuuuush!
One day I had too much time on my hands and calculated how many packs of cigarettes would fit in a large semi-van. Don’t remember the specific numbers, but do remember the cost to be at least a few $million.
It is similar to Prohibition and the ways people got around the ban on alcohol. Cigarettes will find their way into NY from places like VA, which has comparatively low taxes on cigarettes. A carton costs about $45.
Result of new Virginia tax increase: reduced revenues.
The day will come that growing your own tobacco will be illegal. In keeping with the typical quality of legislation we get, buried in the law will be a provision to make it illegal to grow your own fruit and vegetables.
Now you see why I am opposed to a national sales tax. Instead of the IRS, we will have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Everything Else Sold Under the Sun.
How much water do they need?
“...tax jurisdictions are losing out on up to $729 million in tax revenue...”
I love the phrasing. “Losing out on tax revenue”. It wasn’t theirs to lose.
I need to try this.
MA people go to N.H. (or have someone pick them up).
The difference is about $20.00 a carton.
For a pack a day smoker that’s about $700.00 a year.
I have seen what looks to me like tobacco plants in Amish home gardens in Lancaster, PA.
The only criminals here are the politicians who not only allow the sale of a dangerous and highly addictive product, but they reap the greatest profit from its sale - several times that of the companies who actually make it.
The government bleeds the smoker dry all the while hoping that the smoker dies on his/her 65th birthday.
I crunched the numbers once a few years ago and figured that a MI tobacco smuggler could drive to a N Kentucky Indian Rez once a week in a small car and make over $1200 a week after expenses. Round trip in less than 8 hrs.
And that was still selling them for half the going price.
I’ll bet someone in NY could make $5,000 a week today.
Back in the 60s I worked at an auto plant in NE Ohio. There were always guys selling trunkfulls of low tax Ky cigs, and the savings was probably 5 cents a pack, LOL.
Yes it can. I’ve seen fields of it in southern Pennsylvania. It is just that the soil and climate conditions between Virginia and South Carolina (extending into eastern Kentucky and Tennessee) are particularly well suited for the most efficient growth.
Visit your local Indian reservation. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink - you know what I mean?
The lucrative business of cigarette smuggling
Wanna make a quick $1,944,000? Buy a truckload of cigarettes in Virginia and sell them in New York.
After 50 years of smoking, I quit over 5 years ago.
I live in central Illinois, My mother,whom I visit as often as I can, lives in southern Missouri. Every time I visited her, I stoced up on lower tax Missouri cigarettes, saving about $20 per carton. The money I saved more than paid my expenses for the 650 mile round trip.
On an early occasion of doing this, I had a clerk warn me about paying with a Visa debit card. He told me that Visa and other major cards were reporting such purchases to other state's government. From then on I paid in cash.
You can still buy cartons from an Indian Rez’ for way under $20. Lots of profit to be made in high tax states.
But they are looking for truckloads, your odds of being caught go way up.
A small car will hold 100-150 cartons in the trunk and expenses are cheap.
One trip a week to NY, selling for half price...$6,000 a week in profit with little chance of being caught driving them in.
Years ago I lived in the NY area and I could never figure out why the barbers in the barber shop I went to sold cartons of cigarettes that were openly displayed in a glass case. Finally, I asked and they explained it to me. Of course, they weren’t driving to down to get them - there was a middleman.
The movie Goodfellas came to my mind when I read this article.
Just like the late 50’s, early 60’s, I’ll bet that organized crime is involved in the tobacco black market in the Northeast.
As of matter of fact, when I read that NY was going to raise cigarette taxes, I thought that the mob was going to love it. Who knows, maybe the mob bribed politicians to raise the tobacco tax just so they could sell out-of-state cigarettes to New Yorkers at a discounted rate.
I live in NY and buy hardly anything here. I buy most things on the internet with zero shipping and zero sales tax. I buy ammunition and cigarettes in Pennsylvania because of laws and taxes respectively.
They have made the purchase so expensive and inconvenient that it is worth my time to travel a few miles more to obtain such things without hassle and fewer taxes.
I live in NJ and work in PA. The cost difference between the states is about 2.50 per pack cheaper in PA. NJ now gets no cigarette tax revenue from me.
I’m with you.
Zero shipping both ways and you can even try on clothing.
When I can’t avoid shipping I try to avoid sales tax. I’d rather pay shipping than give The Commonwealth of Massachusetts one more cent.
I’ve always detested shopping in stores.
In related news, Bloomberg DEMANDS background checks on anyone buying cigarettes anywhere in North America (except Mexico, of course).
35% of taxes collected in other states to go to NY to make up for “stolen revenue”.
You are missing my point. The only effect my personal opinion has about smoking is in regard to price since I will never be part of the demand curve.
As for the government, they have a heavy influence on price since they attach taxes at every level of sales and profits as well as controlling supply via subsidies, all of which go against my capitalistic beliefs.
The point I was making is that it is the government that makes the case that tobacco is dangerous and addictive, yet refrains to use its powers to ban it. Instead, they profit off of the very product they demonize, and have a vested interest to do so for quite a long time.
This same government has a vested interest in decreasing the life expectancy of the average American in order to decrease its own liability. And this same government knows that cigarettes help cause premature death.
So this government acting in its best interests (and with the power of the gun) will continue to ensure that cigarettes are available for all while it continues to profit greatly from those sales, all while playing the Big Brother role to the hilt.
As for you personally, I assume you haven't quit smoking yet. You have my sympathy. I know how disappointing it must be to you every time you fork over $25 each week for a carton of smokes, thinking about all the other things you will miss out on buying instead. As for Cuba, I regret to inform you that the people running that country are also running this one. So for a freedom-loving capitalist such as myself, there's really no where left to go.
The only hope remaining for me is that I will actually get to collect Social Security when I retire. And the only way that will happen is if a good fraction of the people in my age group die off before they reach 65. So smoke up, Johnny. If it was up to me, I would be giving out free cigarettes to grade school kids.