Sunday, November 12, 2017

NYC is the Cigarette Smuggling Capital of the United States

Black markets fight oppression, including high taxes.

The New York Post reports:
New York is now the cigarette smuggling capital of the nation.

If you’re lighting up in New York, there’s a good chance that butt was not taxed here. That’s because the “unintended consequences” of high cigarette taxes have made New York City the undisputed butt-smuggling center of the US, according to a new Tax Foundation study.

For 2015, the most recent reporting year, the state lost $1.63 billion because of untaxed sales, according to figures released by analysts for the Tax Foundation.
New York state has a state tax of $4.35 per pack, and the city adds on another $1.50.

Those astronomical cigarette taxes have driven the black market in smokes that cost the city an estimated $740 million in 2015 — and the state about $895 million on top of that — according to the Tax Foundation analysts’ calculations for The Post.

City officials say they are aware of the huge extent of the illegal sales, but defend high cigarette taxes as saving lives.
 Scott Drenkard, director of state projects with the Tax Foundation, says:
New York has “the worst smuggling problem in America."
Or if you are a libertarian, it has the best smuggling operations!



  1. Your comments are a small reminder of why we love to come to EPJ! Keep up the good work.

  2. My family's best times economically were prior to the repeal of the Volstead Act. Having been born ten years later, my soul was cared for but I do not have a trucking company. My grandfather prospered by meeting people's needs. For a time in high school I was 18 and had access to cigarettes at $2.50 a carton for which those not so situated paid me twice that amount. Sent off to a Methodist college I had the contacts to provide Communion wine to Episcopalians. More recently I noticed that in my state--located where the midwest converges with the southwest and southeast--the primary opponents of legalized weed were the growers of a not so licit but profitable cash crop.

  3. I've heard of a fella from these parts that spends half his year in Mn and the other in Az, knowing the price of cigs in both places he stops in Missouri and buys enough to last for whatever direction he's headed. But that's only a rumor.

  4. The smuggler, what a beautiful dedication to customer service.

  5. Given that most laws are unjust I'm usually pro-crime.

  6. Let me be one to applaud the smugglers! Bravo folks! Bravo!

  7. In New Zealand, (described as top five freest country in world) packs of Ciggies are sold at about 20 us dollars a pack and may go higher than that. basically it's caused something of a crime wave with hoodlums hitting 24hr gas stations in search of tobacco

  8. "...the state lost $1.63 billion because of untaxed sales..." certainly written by a statist. The state didn't lose anything, the heroic smugglers prevented the state from stealing $1.63B from its citizens!