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42% Of Cigarettes Sold In NYC Are Untaxed

From the New York Post:

NYC probe finds massive number of illegal, untaxed cigs

June 8, 2012

Millions of dollars in cigarette-tax revenue for the city are going up in smoke. The Sheriff’s unit of the city Finance Department that conducted a sweep of 1,700 stores licensed to sell tobacco products found an astounding 42 percent either peddling untaxed cigarettes or using counterfeit stamps to duck the combined $5.85 city-state tax, The Post has learned.

Note the outrage about all the lost money due to these uncollected taxes. Meanwhile, it’s probably safe to say that the vast majority of these cigarette selling shops are run by illegal aliens, who don’t probably don’t pay any income tax. But we never hear about how much they are costing the cities, counties, states and country in lost revenue.

In fact, Mayor Bloomberg has recently pronounced that we need to import more illegal aliens. He claims that illegal aliens are our only hope to save our declining cities.

“That is an alarming number,” said Jim Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, which represents 1,600 outlets around the state.

He said that while there’s no excuse for tax evasion, “it’s a reflection of the desperation of some store owners” trying to make ends meet in a jurisdiction with the highest cigarette tax in the nation.

Further into the article we will hear New York officials claim they are cracking down to help these small store owners.

The number of smokers in the city is falling each year — with Mayor Bloomberg crediting his administration’s anti-smoking policies for the drop. But tax revenues from cigarettes are plummeting even more quickly.

The city took in $158.5 million from its share of the cigarette tax in 2003. Last year, collections were down to $69.8 million, a 56 percent drop. During that same period, the smoking rate fell 28 percent.

Finance Commissioner David Frankel said his agency’s pursuit of cigarette tax cheats is as much about fairness as revenues

Whenever a politician starts to talk about "fairness" you better reach for your wallet.

A legitimate pack of Newports was selling yesterday for $10.75 at the Optimo shop on Park Row across from City Hall. An illegal pack can go for as little as $5, according to grocery industry officials…

Meaning that half the price of cigarettes is now made up of taxes. Isn’t that the real crime here?

Frankel said the city is drawing up legislation to increase the penalties on those who flout the tax law because their impact “is devastating to small businesses” that are honest…

You see? They are just trying helping small business. Higher taxes always help small business.

The city is known for having the toughest anti-smoking laws in the nation, with bans on puffing in restaurants and even parks.

The Bloomberg administration also has sued residents for buying untaxed cigs on the Internet and has cracked down on “roll your own” tobacco shops.

All in the name of ‘fairness.’

By the way, it really is a misnomer to call what Bloomberg is doing in New York City, a ‘nanny state.’ It is really a ‘bully state.’ Even the Soviet Commissars didn’t dare to go as far as Bloomberg is going.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 8th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “42% Of Cigarettes Sold In NYC Are Untaxed”

  1. Mithrandir says:

    So….in order to cover up for political incompetence, high debt, broken budgets, criminal over-spending, everyone ELSE needs to be taxed more?

    Isn’t that interesting that “the rich” or “smokers” or some other boogyman MUST do their fair-share to pony-up money to refill the treasury that they did not empty. What is fair about that? When do the people that empty the treasury to pay off their voters ever suffer for their thievery? When do the tables get turned on them, and shift the focus squarely on them? Hey, you want more revenue, why don’t you QUIT so that the treasury will fill up without all your crazy spending schemes.

    Am I the only one who sees this?

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Seems to me this nation fought a nasty, bloody war about taxes and “fairness” as regards representation in government. But the typical national socialist lie is, “OK, so you got representation…now pay up.” which to them makes it right.

    Well, it’s not right and the very reason there are so many black market cigarettes sold is because THE PEOPLE think the tax on them is too high. I’m not a smoker so I’m only indirectly affected but the point is, taxes hurt commerce. Some is necessary for the infrastructure but the bureaucrats think that if some infrastructure is good, more must be better. Think Moochelle Obama’s do-nothing quarter-of-a-million-dollar job in Sh*tcago where she presided over patient dumping operations and rarely went to work anyhow.

    For politicians to repay favors is a dangerous area and they either fall prey to bad decisions by appointing cronies or do it blatantly anyhow, along with penalizing the paying public because they demand more funds.

    Government creates nothing. They certainly do not create wealth. They abscond it, they steal it, they damage it, they deny it. When money is sucked up by government, it might as well be going into a black hole in the Andromeda galaxy. The public will never see it again. The person who works to pay taxes vs. the person who doesn’t and receives a government check is the where the problem lies.

    46% of this nation doesn’t pay taxes. What’s all this about “fair share”?

  3. Anonymoose says:

    Even if the business owners are legitimate, it’s hard to break even when paying more on taxes than the whole pack sells for somewhere else. I’ve never smoked, but have become alarmed at the war the government and liberals play on tobacco–which increasingly seems to me a vendetta against people who don’t share their values.

    Anyone seen any cigarette ads lately? Because they’re not allowed to advertise as one of the “wins” of that class action suit a decade ago. Yet we’ve all seen the ads about how smoking causes cancer/strokes/heart attacks/green tentacles to sprout out of your head. I grew up in a state with a lot of tobacco farmers who saw themselves increasingly taxed, legislated, and demonized out of existence. And what’s stop them from using the same tactics on anything else they disapprove of?

    Yet marijuana is supposed to be some wonder cure? They both involve inhaling smoke and leave behind a resin, yet tobacco just calms your nerves while marijuana makes you go spacey. I can’t believe that long term marijuana use won’t lead to just as many health problems as tobacco, yet people are pushing to legalize it left and right. (And I wonder how they’ll feel when they find out the draconian anti-smoking legislation also applies to them.)

    And over it all alcohol practically gets a free pass. People are much more dangerous and destructive when drunk, especially a mean drunk. Yet alcohol just keeps on going. I’ve lost track of how many health nuts I’ve know who drank like fish, including one twerp in college who if he even saw someone smoking in his presence would run over and slap the cigarette out of their hand–and yet he was smashed practically every night.

    And somehow tobacco is the worst thing to have ever come down the pike. Go figure…..

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Definition of a liberal or national socialist, if you will.

      “The first person to demand that ‘there ought to be a law’ while being the last person to think that law should apply to them.”

      In short, hypocrite.

      “I demand you stop smoking! Now get out of my way while I light this joint.”

      It’s also been my experience that the majority of drug abusers and rehab occupants seem to come from the left side of the political sphere. I think this is not coincidental. They are the people who need validation every day from others and without it, they are left paddle-less in the current. Unable to do anything alone or even be happy alone. They are “in their element” when in rehab because they are getting attention. They are being focused on and given help to recover from their bad habit. It’s no wonder they end up being repeat visitors to such places.

      “Don’t you tell me how to live MY life” while they stick a needle in their arm. Why?

      Numerous pulp entertainment rags talk about the “pressure” to be a performer. How about the pressure to continuously meet production quotas in a factory? How about the pressure to be a soldier and get shot at every day? How about the pressure to be a work-a-day soul who lives on a meager salary but chooses not to buy drugs or alcohol and instead relies on his relationship with God? Oh, you deride that as being a “bitter clinger”.

      While you look for a friend in a bottle or a joint or a syringe, other people have found strength in other ways. Often, they are referred to as “hobbies” and just as often come with fellowship and peer review groups who observe and discuss your work be it writing, model airplane building, woodworking, etc.

      Society, as a whole has not “evolved” past Roman times. There are the scammers, the liars, the ne’er-do-wells, the thieves, the gangsters, etc etc. Always been there, always will. But it’s not my responsibility to FIX you. When they fail they blame “the system”, “whitey”, “unfairness”, etc but never themselves.

      The truly brilliant man is the one who knows what he doesn’t know and either sets about learning to rectify that or simply acknowledges his limitations.

  4. DW says:

    Meanwhile, it’s probably safe to say that the vast majority of these cigarette selling shops are run by illegal aliens, who don’t probably don’t pay any income tax.

    It gets worse: A lot of untaxed cigarettes -especially in upper New York State- are coming from Indian reserves. Some of the revenue garnered from them has been traced to the middle east where it has been sent in support of terrorism.
    I posted about this on this site a few years ago. The information is certainly not secret.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      So, another point here that you’re making is that tobacco, one of the most controlled substances in this land, controlled by the government cannot seem to stop illegal manufacture, distribution and sale of said tobacco products, even though the profits for it go to Hezbolla and other nefarious, hate-America groups.

      Interesting that. Since the national socialists think that the answer to everything is government control (unless a conservative does it), it fills me with confidence that the bureaucracy that is soon to “DMV” my healthcare will make me far healthier than I am today. I especially like the part where the law demands that they have permission to debit my bank account to pay for it. And even more confidence that know-it-all bureaucrats will decide if I get that new hip or not.

      Yup, they can’t even stop the tide of illegal cigarettes (Oh, yeah…remember Prohibition and how that all worked out, with 100% of all alcohol sales monies going to finance the most ruthless, bloodthirsty mobs this nation had ever seen?)yet they want to control everything.

      They can’t and won’t stop the tide of illegal immigration, the flood of drugs coming into the nation, voter fraud and such….but they want to run healthcare.

      Oh how I wish I could move to a place where mentally deficient power-mongers didn’t live.

  5. beautyofreason says:

    I can’t wait until they start raiding stores for 24 and 36 oz soda cups. Those benevolent busybodies… suing people who buy a legal product off the internet to avoid a state tax. I wonder if they is going to ban Ebay and Amazon next?

  6. yadayada says:

    The Bloomberg administration also has sued residents for buying untaxed cigs on the Internet and has cracked down on “roll your own” tobacco shops.

    so let me get this straight – boombutt intentionally raises the price beyond the ability of the average citizen to pay,
    then complains that not enough people are paying the price he demands,
    then instigating legal actions against and suing average citizens who go elsewhere to purchase their cigarettes from a merchant who can supply it at half the price boombutt demands………

    yup, THAT”S the liberal marketplace in a nutshell !!

  7. jimreport says:

    Yes, but cigarettes cause higher health care costs!
    UK found out smokers cost society less money by dying younger, and quicker.
    But cigarettes cause higher health care costs!!

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