New York ranks first in smuggled smokes
New York State sells more bootlegged cigarettes than any state, with 60.9 percent of the cigarettes sold secreted into its borders improperly, according to a report released yesterday.
New York has higher tobacco taxes than any other state, at $4.35 per pack. That does not include a local New York City tax of $1.50 per pack, the group said.
“Dramatic increases in state cigarette taxes have yielded additional revenue for priorities like public health, but have also fueled the rise of organized crime and law enforcement corruption,” said Scott Drenkard, an economist for Tax Foundation, business-oriented tax research organization.
Cigarettes can be bootlegged by bringing in lower-priced packs from other states, counterfeiting state tax stamps, hijacking trucks or bribing officials to ignore illegal shipments.
Arizona and New Mexico also had high rates of smuggled cigarettes, at 54.4 percent and 53.0 percent, respectively.