The Tobacco Pirates

posted at 8:31 am on July 28, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Earlier this year we took a brief look at Illinois Governor Patt Quinn’s inspired and sure-fire plan to ease his state’s fiscal woes on the backs of smokers by raising the taxes on cigarettes. Estimates as to how much money this would bring in ranged from modest sums in the mere millions to roughly the national debt. It couldn’t miss.

With some time having passed to let the cash cow fatten, we should check back in and see what the fine citizens of the Land of Lincoln are doing with their new found largesse. I do hope they’re not all getting fat and lazy now that all of the state’s fiscal problems have been solved. Ahhh… happy days.

When Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill adding another dollar a pack to the state’s cigarette tax, law enforcement leaders knew they had their hands full.

John Chambers, head investigator for the Illinois Department of Revenue, says cigarette smuggling now rivals illegal drug smuggling, and street gangs are getting involved.

“Keep in mind this is very similar to drug activity, smuggling drugs, and there could be concealed compartments, false floors in the bed of a truck, much like drugs, all packed with cigarettes,” Chambers said.

In Cook County, the tax on smokes is now $4.66 a pack. In Indiana it’s $0.995. Missouri checks in at $0.17. Who could possibly have seen this coming?

In a recent study, University of Illinois at Chicago professor David Merriman found 75 percent of cigarettes in Chicago didn’t have the proper tax stamps. He says the most recent increase will likely have a big impact along state lines.

“For the ordinary everyday smoker, many of them have already found ways to avoid the tax. I think it’s going to be a much bigger issue in areas where the state border makes it a big difference,” Merriman said.

A clerk at a tobacco shop in Hammond, Ind., less than a mile from the state line, says business has doubled since the latest increase began at the end of June.

So you tried to wipe away your spending problems by raising taxes. To compound the issue, you did it under the cover of attempting to regulate personal behavior by government tax policy to discourage it. I guess this has turned into a real teachable moment, eh?

But don’t let that stop you. Illinois can always jack up the taxes on alcohol to make up the shortfall from this experiment. I mean, it’s not like any of the tobacco pirates would be such scofflaws as to drive drunk as they transport their untaxed Marlboros back across state lines, right?


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I don’t mind tobacco taxes. Heck, the stuff should probably be banned outright. But anyone who thinks they would be a reliable revenue stream is smoking something.

Count to 10 on July 28, 2012 at 8:36 AM

We already went ahead and raised the alcohol tax, too.

aic4ever on July 28, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Sure, ban tobacco.
And while you’re at it, look up Prohibition in your history book.

gordo on July 28, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Liberals won’t understand this. They’ll think the answer will be to create another massive bureaucracy … cigarette cops … to patrol every square inch of Illinois looking for contraband cigarettes.

Or maybe they’ll think the reason it doesn’t work is the tax is not high enough. Maybe a $10 tax will do the trick! Whatever pops into their little empty heads you can bet it won’t be based in reality.

darwin on July 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Those pesky unintended consequences strike again! Carnack the Magnificent couldn’t have seen this coming!

Naturally Curly on July 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

When we visited my grandmother in Wisconsin in the 1950 and 1960s, colored margarine was banned (dairy lobby influence0. So the only margarine was uncolored and looked like lard. Along the WI/IL border, just inside IL, there were gas stations and convenience stores with “Last chance to buy oleo!”signs.

I think WI should now return the favor by offering IL residents cheaper cigarettes just over the border. Nice big signs that can be seen from the IL side of the state line. Maybe add “Thanks to Scott Walker’s reforms, we don’t have to tax our residents out the wazoo” or something like that.

Wethal on July 28, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Those pesky unintended consequences strike again! Carnack the Magnificent couldn’t have seen this coming!

Naturally Curly on July 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

The smaht party.

Flora Duh on July 28, 2012 at 8:50 AM

who let the liberal go first?

Slade73 on July 28, 2012 at 8:51 AM

If they really want to raise revenues they should tax politicians’ lies and fabrications…alright, call it an abuser fee if you must.

Don L on July 28, 2012 at 8:51 AM

It is human nature to find one’s way around obstacles, man made or natural.

roy_batty on July 28, 2012 at 8:54 AM

The smaht party.

Flora Duh on July 28, 2012 at 8:50 AM

It’s for our own good, after all. Oh, and for the children!

Naturally Curly on July 28, 2012 at 8:55 AM

In Indiana it’s $0.995

Well if the border traffic doubled they did raise tobacco tax revenue? For Indiana anyway. I’m sure the good folks in Indiana see the wisdom of not raising their tax? Well until the Democrats take charge anyway.

whbates on July 28, 2012 at 8:56 AM

But don’t let that stop you. Illinois can always jack up the taxes on alcohol to make up the shortfall from this experiment. I mean, it’s not like any of the tobacco pirates would be such scofflaws as to drive drunk as they transport their untaxed Marlboros back across state lines, right?

it sure is a good thing they gots some roads n’ bridges that they can go out and escape from that tax policy. If government is divine, is it sacreligious to use the roads ‘n bridges to evade tax policy? that’s got to be akin to havin’ sex in church, right?/

ted c on July 28, 2012 at 8:57 AM

A clerk at a tobacco shop in Hammond, Ind., less than a mile from the state line, says business has doubled since the latest increase began at the end of June.

Indiana has a real gravy train there, don’t they–a high tax atate next door!

radjah shelduck on July 28, 2012 at 8:58 AM

We tried that it didn’t work, so we tried my plan it worked………B.O. 2012………..;-D

angrymike on July 28, 2012 at 8:58 AM

…the answer will be to create another massive bureaucracy … cigarette cops ….

darwin on July 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Yup, the cigarette cops could partner up with the food police and just as soon as the mark pushes back his chair from his french fries and large soda to light up..WHAM! Obama’s civilian army slams him to the ground, cuffs him, and frog marches the evil perp to the waiting black limo….

Soon after comes the new TV show modeled after COPS “Bait smokes”

Don L on July 28, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Wow! $4.66 a pack in just taxes! I haven’t smoked in almost 30 years. When I went into the Army in 1975 I could get a carton of Marlboros on base for $1.75.

I still remember something my grandad used to say, and he was a lifelong smoker of Lucky Strikes…until his heart attack. “I don’t care if cigarettes get to be a dollar a pack, people will still smoke them.”

He was also a lifelong coal miner and died of Black Lung.

TugboatPhil on July 28, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Anyone who gets caught with contraband untaxed cigarettes should just tell the cops that they went to High School here in the US. Right?

Naturally Curly on July 28, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Who could have seen this coming? Quelle surprise!

Why would anyone pay $8 a pack (for anything) when the same could be had for an afternoon’s drive to get the same for between $2 or $3. [Cheaper by the carton, of course....the Costco way.]

Loyalty to the State?

After what the state has done to most Illinois residents, well, loyalty is not a word one would use.

There are a few communities around here that decided to raise the local tax on gasoline to offset their revenue shortages. Unexpected results, there, too. Lot of closed up gas stations.

What do most households do when facing an economic crunch?

Cut unnecessary spending, cut back on many things, shop at Aldi’s instead of Whole Foods, keep that car another season longer, maybe e two or three, change your own oil, work out at home instead of paying Bally’s, brown-bag it instead of “doing lunch.” Lot’s of other ways, too.

Borrowing up the yang and doubling down on spending is not going to help.

So, why do governments believe they can?

That’s oversimplification, my liberal acquaintances tell me.

Well, it ain’t rocket science.

coldwarrior on July 28, 2012 at 9:07 AM

I wonder if they should check the increase of violence with the date of the increase? Nothing is smarter than to make a legal substance the business of organized crime. Or even unorganinzed crime for that matter.

Cindy Munford on July 28, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Human nature being what it is, this was predictable. Washington state banned phosphates in detergents, so the good folks in Washington that want really clean clothes must now go to Idaho for laundry soap. Sales of Tide went way up in Idaho Falls.

Now, tax a substance like cigarettes, and you now have a scenario set up like during prohibition. Fun really.

I blame this on schools not really teaching history anymore. Those who don’t learn the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them.

armygirl on July 28, 2012 at 9:07 AM

before you know it, Illinois politicians and fellow criminals will be for closed Illinois borders and open mexican ones……

ted c on July 28, 2012 at 9:08 AM

a buddy of mine left for Cancun this morning and is somewhat of a cigar lover…

did you know that you can take the cohiba cuban cigar sleeve off of it, replace it with a mexican one and voila’!…. import you some cuban cigars back to the US. Just a few, but same principle.

ted c on July 28, 2012 at 9:09 AM

In Texas the smokers tax funds the Po’ children’s healthcare program CHIP.

So although the politicians say they do this so smokers will quit…they really have a cash cow they have no interest in ending.

If every smoker in Texas suddenly quit smoking…They’d legislate another vice tax.

“But the woman says she was told by supervisors that her smell was a problem, claiming other staff advised her to shower at the hospital and avoid her husband — who also smokes — before coming to work in the morning.

“I stopped smoking on my breaks, I wouldn’t smoke in my car, I bought new clothes,” Cannon told the station.

Cannon said she was fired last week by hospital managers who she claims said, “We have to let you go” over the smell

But others, like Chuck Samuelson of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that “your rights as a a smoker end where other people’s noses begin.”

“In fact you can make the argument that your rights as a smoker end when other people breathe in the air that comes off of you,” he told KSTP.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/27/minnesota-woman-claims-was-fired-from-job-for-smelling-like-cigarette-smoke/#ixzz21vGRvMoI

Welcome To The Tolerant Totalitarian Secular Puritan Hypocritical Fascist States of Americanistan

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Who do they think they are, Kalifornia?

When the Kali budget shortfall is unexpectedly $35 billion next year, Moonbeam and his muppets will add $5 to a gallon of gas, $5 to a pack of cigarettes, and raise the state income tax by 20%.

Of course this never worked before but whatever.

And don’t talk about cutting spending. If they do that there will be no policemen, no firemen, and millions of deaths.

CorporatePiggy on July 28, 2012 at 9:19 AM

a buddy of mine left for Cancun this morning and is somewhat of a cigar lover…

did you know that you can take the cohiba cuban cigar sleeve off of it, replace it with a mexican one and voila’!…. import you some cuban cigars back to the US. Just a few, but same principle.

ted c on July 28, 2012 at 9:09 AM

JFK had a ready supply of Cubans

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:20 AM

…the answer will be to create another massive bureaucracy … cigarette cops ….

darwin on July 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

The huge taxes in NY have caused so much cigarette smuggling that the NYPD now has a special unit to combat it. The government has successfully created a profit center for criminals and turned ordinary citizens into criminals themselves.

RadClown on July 28, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Most folks won’t care…unless they legislate a porn tax

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:22 AM

…the answer will be to create another massive bureaucracy … cigarette cops ….

darwin on July 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

The huge taxes in NY have caused so much cigarette smuggling that the NYPD now has a special unit to combat it. The government has successfully created a profit center for criminals and turned ordinary citizens into criminals themselves.

RadClown on July 28, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Contraband Tobacco Farms right next to Moonshine Stills?

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:25 AM

I live in Virginia, within a few miles of Maryland, (whose state motto is, “If you can dream it, we can tax it) Where cigarette (and gasoline) taxes are much higher. At the exit of my subdivision, there’s a shell station who also happens to sell discounted cigarettes. There are constantly lines there, and the majority of the license plates there are from Maryland.

Don’t these Marylanders know, they’re depriving their state of needed tax revenues to help the poor chilrens?

rightside on July 28, 2012 at 9:28 AM

When we visited my grandmother in Wisconsin in the 1950 and 1960s, colored margarine was banned (dairy lobby influence0. So the only margarine was uncolored and looked like lard. Along the WI/IL border, just inside IL, there were gas stations and convenience stores with “Last chance to buy oleo!”signs.

Wethal on July 28, 2012 at 8:50 AM

I remember that growing up in Wisconsin in the late 1960s. The family took regular trips into Minnesota to buy margarine for us and our neighbors. We bought also other groceries out of state as payback to the stupid farmer lobby.

WhatNot on July 28, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Any attempt to make something “off-limits” only serves to encourage the resourcefulness of those to whom it’s directed. Kids do it in school. Why didn’t they just make the tax $10.00 on a pack, or $100.00? It would have been just as “successful”.
Of course, taxation as punishment is the MO of the current bunch in the White House. I guess, coming from Chicago, you could say they come by it honestly.

tpitman on July 28, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Gubmint in action…

“Jenny Chen owns a $32,500 paper weight.

Chen, manager of Smoker Island on South College Road in Wilmington, bought a RYO Filling Station earlier this year. The machine allowed customers to roll their own cigarettes, a lower cost alternative to buying packs or cartons. She charged $22 for 200 and in 8 minutes the customer had a carton’s worth of cigarettes.

But a little known provision in the newly passed federal highway bill is shutting down hundreds of shops where smokers can roll their own cigarettes. The bill provides road funding for the next two years, but it also contains other provisions ranging from extending low interest rates for student loans to redefining what constitutes a cigarette manufacturer. Under the new law, Chen’s store is considered a manufacturer because she owns a “roll-your-own” machine. President Obama signed the bill into law Friday…”

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20120710/ARTICLES/120719988

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Cannon said she was fired last week by hospital managers who she claims said, “We have to let you go” over the smell…

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:16 AM

There’s a teacher at one of the screwls I teach at who smokes & yes, she smells like smoke all the time. But it’s not overwhelming.
There’s another teacher a the same screwl who smells like BO. And it’s often overwhelming.

So who to fire? LOL! The Admin complained to the teacher who smokes to stop smoking.
She told them to basically eff off. And I agree with her.
People are just damned ridiculous in the way they seek to control others.

Badger40 on July 28, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Southern Illinois: Mavericks – $5.79/pk (plus local S/T) Marlboro Special Light – $5.59/pk (plus local S/T).

Paducah: Marlboro Special Lights – $37.25/carton. Rumor has it there is another smoke shop that has them for $33.xx/carton. We’ll see.

Making a run tomorrow, in fact, and laughing all the way. Gas is about $10.00 round trip.

Blow me, Tax-inois. I’ll run to Kentucky for everything. We have the better part of a neighborhood, running down twice a month. Gonna start Krogering down there, too. Oh, and guess what? That includes fuel, too.

You sorry bastards are losing tax revenue left and right. We hope to make it even more.

Screw you and you Highway Gestapolizei, too.

Democrats may smooch my buff rump.

98ZJUSMC on July 28, 2012 at 9:44 AM

So who to fire? LOL! The Admin complained to the teacher who smokes to stop smoking.
She told them to basically eff off. And I agree with her.
People are just damned ridiculous in the way they seek to control others.

Badger40 on July 28, 2012 at 9:38 AM

They told this woman to avoid contact with her husband for cryin’ out loud…

Sheeesh!

I hope she sues the bejeeezus out of these liars.

They didn’t fire her over a smell…They fired her because they didn’t want to insure her.

They will discriminate on health conditions…next is diabetes…or arthritis…or Lupus etc.

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Typical sin tax BS, I smoke…in NY where it`s 10 frikkin bux a pack thanx to liberal incompetence and nanny-ism. I just bought an e-cig, waiting for it to be delivered….NY can take the approx THREE HUNDRED+ dollars per month they were getting from me in taxes and stuff it where the sun don`t shine…I have had enough, hopefully this silly e-cig will help me transition to a nicotine (and sin tax) free life. Stupid tax happy state legislators never ever ever get the law of unintended consequences.

NY Conservative on July 28, 2012 at 9:46 AM

There’s another teacher a the same screwl who smells like BO. And it’s often overwhelming.
Badger40 on July 28, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Maybe…Ban Garlic for lunch?

No Garlic For You!

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:47 AM

NY Conservative on July 28, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Good Luck with that…drums are already sounding off on how dangerous the E-cigs could be cause y’know Gubmint Scientists know everyhing…So stockup

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Screw you and you Highway Gestapolizei, too.

Democrats may smooch my buff rump.

98ZJUSMC on July 28, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Pall Malls $3.99/pack in Texas at the 7-11

Know any Texans?

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:53 AM

JFK had a ready supply of Cubans

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:20 AM

he had one of his aides buy a whole shizzatload right before he lowered the embargo on fidel.

ted c on July 28, 2012 at 9:54 AM

The South will see an economic boom…Yep!

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:55 AM

This is so stupid. Where I live in PA people go regularly to the next state and buy cigarettes at the reservations. And the reverse is true, people from neighboring states come to PA to buy non-taxed clothes. What made Illinois think people wouldn’t do that to save even more?

Deanna on July 28, 2012 at 9:58 AM

My mother, the criminal ……
Old moms goes to a Indian reservation for her smokes, saves $25.00 each carton. The only way they will stop this is
a. Lower the taxes
b. Make it a felony
c. Outright ban
I can only see outright ban to stop old moms…….Which will never work, to much money goes into government pockets.

angrymike on July 28, 2012 at 9:59 AM

The problem is not the Illinois cigarette tax; the real problem is the adjoining states with their lax cigarette taxes keeping illegal untaxed ciggies on the streets. We need reasonable restrictions on cigarette sales. Perhaps a national cigarette registry to keep track of buyers or a national law limiting folks to a purchase of no more than one pack a day because we all know that no one needs more than one pack a day. Yeah, this should work.

morbius on July 28, 2012 at 10:02 AM

cigarette smuggling now rivals illegal drug smuggling

All those morons had to do was look at Canada. Several years ago they raised taxes on cigarettes to an obscene level hoping to reduce smoking.

Fast forward a year or so and the gov’t was saying “Look! The official smoking rates are way down!” They were basing their findings on official cigarette sales in Canada.

Upon further analysis however, they found out that the actual rate of smoking was going up. “How could this be?”, they said.

Turns out, you couldn’t park a truckload of cigarettes within a hundred miles of the Canadian border in the US. Between stolen loads of cigarettes being smuggled in, Canadian citizens coming across the border to buy cigs at a far cheaper price and the indian reservations getting into the cig business, cigarettes were not only widely available, their use was increasing and the Canadian gov’t was not receiving the revenue.

So, they came to their senses and lowered the tax back to a reasonable level.

BacaDog on July 28, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Pall Malls $3.99/pack in Texas at the 7-11

Know any Texans?

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Unfortunately, no. The logistics wouldn’t preclude the Kentucky runs and Missouri is equidistant for me (12 miles S. of Carbondale/Marion Area). If Missouri is even cheaper,…off we go to Cape Girardeau!

98ZJUSMC on July 28, 2012 at 10:02 AM

When we visited my grandmother in Wisconsin in the 1950 and 1960s, colored margarine was banned (dairy lobby influence0. So the only margarine was uncolored and looked like lard. Along the WI/IL border, just inside IL, there were gas stations and convenience stores with “Last chance to buy oleo!”signs.
Wethal on July 28, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Remember the bags of “lard” that came with a small cap filled with yellow coloring that you’d break and mix in with the lard?

whatcat on July 28, 2012 at 10:02 AM

From the point of view of the government, this is a win-win-win situation.

Every time crime goes up, frightened citizens will allow the government to increase taxes even more – to protect the citizens from the criminals.

And when it’s ORGANIZED crime, it’s even better. It’s basically like another “civil” “service” “workers” union, that funnels campaign donations to politicians — to protect the criminals from the citizens.

logis on July 28, 2012 at 10:05 AM

NY Conservative on July 28, 2012 at 9:46 AM

You aren’t within commuting distance to any of NY’s Indian reservations?

Deanna on July 28, 2012 at 10:05 AM

NY conservative
I live near Cleveland Oh, dear old mom goes on a bus to the Indian reservation in NY for a day of gambling and smoke buying……….

angrymike on July 28, 2012 at 10:09 AM

I can only see outright ban to stop old moms…….Which will never work, to much money goes into government pockets.

angrymike on July 28, 2012 at 9:59 AM

I can see bus companies having tours to neaighboring states, like they do into PA for clothes shoppers. LOL
Right now people get together as a group and go over into NY to buy cigarettes at the reservations and to gamble and enjoy a show. Perfectly legal.

Deanna on July 28, 2012 at 10:12 AM

NY Conservative on July 28, 2012 at 9:46 AM

I switched to e-cigs two weeks ago. In Connecticut, the cheapest brands cost over $7 a pack. An e-cig, for about $10 will last about two days, give or take. So, yes, it saves some money.

But the biggest plus (aside from being tar-free) is that it seems to be weaning me off of nicotine, as well. I had a real cigarette after about four days of e-cigs, and caught quite a buzz. So just stick with the e-cigs and don’t look back. :-)

Tuning Spork on July 28, 2012 at 10:15 AM

I live near Cleveland Oh, dear old mom goes on a bus to the Indian reservation in NY for a day of gambling and smoke buying……….

angrymike on July 28, 2012 at 10:09 AM

You’re near my old stomping grounds. Used to work for Sterling Inc.(Kay, Shaws, JB Robinson Jewelers etc.)Grew up east of Cleveland.

Deanna on July 28, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Tuning spork
Looks like that will be my next step, my lady quit a couple months ago. I guess ill go look it up…… Mom will never quit, she probably wants a carton buried with her, I’ll ask………;-D

angrymike on July 28, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Liberals won’t understand this. They’ll think the answer will be to create another massive bureaucracy … cigarette cops … to patrol every square inch of Illinois looking for contraband cigarettes.

Or maybe they’ll think the reason it doesn’t work is the tax is not high enough. Maybe a $10 tax will do the trick! Whatever pops into their little empty heads you can bet it won’t be based in reality.

darwin on July 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

…they’ll expand TSA…if you smoke…you can be stopped and searched to see if your cig pac has ‘the stamp’…and yes they will be permitted to touch your junk

KOOLAID2 on July 28, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Rixon on July 28, 2012 at 9:54 AM

http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2011/migration.html

*sigh*

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Deanna
I’m in Willoughby, grew up in Eastlake

angrymike on July 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM

My mother, the criminal ……
Old moms goes to a Indian reservation for her smokes, saves $25.00 each carton. The only way they will stop this is
a. Lower the taxes
b. Make it a felony
c. Outright ban
I can only see outright ban to stop old moms…….Which will never work, to much money goes into government pockets.

angrymike on July 28, 2012 at 9:59 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbrnXl2gO_k

workingclass artist on July 28, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Illinois will never learn, if you want to increase revenue, you lower the tax.

booger71 on July 28, 2012 at 10:39 AM

...Cheyenne …’CIGARS’…Cig tabacco in light cigar paper with filters…for less than $2.00 a pack in Michigan

KOOLAID2 on July 28, 2012 at 10:40 AM

I’m in Willoughby, grew up in Eastlake

angrymike on July 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Early years on the PA border in Ashtabula county but spent my adult life everywhere in the area from Painesville to Mentor to Chardon and malls like the old Euclid Square, Randall Park, Great Lakes, etc. Still have friends and family in Willoughby, Mentor, Fairport, and Painesville. I met Larry Robinson a couple of times, interesting man. Nice area and really under-rated.

Deanna on July 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Up in Maine it’s even more foolish than this.

Back under the corrupt Baldacci administration, about 5 years ago, the state was run completely by the Dems. They controlled both houses of the legislature as well as the governor’s office.

In order to “raise revenue” they added a $1/pack tack to smokes. The greedy pols were extatic, counting up the money they figured they would get. By their own estimates, they would bring in close to $92 million a year extra with just this one tax!

Problems with the revenue stream started almost at once. By year’s end, rather than the $92 million, they had only pulled in $78 million. People either headed to New Hampshire or the Indian Reservation for smokes, cut back, or stopped smoking.

Rather than being a good thing, all these people cutting back or stopping, it panicked the moron Democrats because, you see, they had counted on that $92 million dollars and had already spent it. Now, suddenly, they were $14 million in the hole.

What to do, what to do? Their solution? Raise alcohol taxes to cover the losses. Face palm.

Thankfully, in 2010, Maine wised up and gave control of the legislature and the governorship to the Republicans, who are returning fiscal sanity to the state. It will take some time, but it will happen.

TKindred on July 28, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Not to worry, they’ll just jack up the tax some more to take care of the ‘short fall’.

You know. Logic.

Here in sunny Kalifornia there’s been a big push to conserve water. We’re now told that water rates have to go up. People are conserving too much water.

GarandFan on July 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM

A clerk at a tobacco shop in Hammond, Ind., less than a mile from the state line, says business has doubled since the latest increase began at the end of June.

uh..oh….sounds like a case of Economics 101.

Libtards are Hilarious!

Tim_CA on July 28, 2012 at 11:04 AM

This happened in the conservative haven of South Dakota a few years ago. They needed to close a budget gap and raised cigarette taxes to do so. All revenue projections were based off of CURRENT sales prior to the tax. Anyone want to guess what happened next?

One difference is that SD citizens voted the increase themselves at the ballot box. The campaign demonizing smokers was over the top and the tobacco lobby couldn’t get a clear message across. The government pushed the increase as well citing that this would encourage people to quit and increase overall health in the state. No one called them on the fact that it had nothing to do with health, shown by the fact that the revenue increase was based on current levels of smokers and that the projected revenue increase was written into the budget. Throw in the fact that less than 50% of voters are smokers and ads pushed the idea that it is ok to increase taxes if you think smoking is gross and if your own taxes won’t increase it is ok to pass the tax. This all from a citizenry that revolted when the legislature passed a law banning smoking in public businesses, and then killed it on the ballot.

End of the story, the tax increase actually decreased revenues as smokers quit in droves and went across state lines to purchase smokes. The state was in a bigger hole financially because they got hit with the double whammy of increasing the projected budget and then ending up with even less revenue then they had before.

This tax idea has been tried and tried again and proven to be a complete failure in terms of revenue and a moderate success at controlling people’s behavior. Let us not let the left push these increases in the future under the guise of increased revenue. It has been proven over and over that the only effect the taxes have is to modify behavior. If we force the left to admit this, i believe American voters will overwhelmingly reject the idea. We cannot expect the left to be honest about their intentions, so we must force their hand.

weaselyone on July 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Deanna on July 28, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Actually I`m a 15 min drive from the Poospatuck Res. I`ve gone there on occasion, problem is they jack up the prices so in effect your still saving a couple of bucks per but they are making insane profit ,which I do NOT mind (ever the capitalist,lol)but its also why the State is constantly harassing them and trying to revoke their tax free status.

Tuning Spork on July 28, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Yes, my ultimate goal is to be nicotine free….but I actually, you know…enjoy the physical act of smoking. I`ve tried the e-cigs you can get from places like 7-11/wawa`s but they`re kinda …eh. A buddy of mine let me try his V2 the other day and I was so impressed by it I ordered a starter kit…we`ll see I guess, hope it works out for me, there`s about a 400 buck a month savings right there.

And yes, as others have said, they are trying like heck to regulate/tax/ban e-cigs as well…despite there being NO solid proof of health risks, etc….it is ALLLLLL about CONTROL AND $$MONEY$$ AS ALWAYS.

NY Conservative on July 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM

” Between stolen loads of cigarettes being smuggled in, Canadian citizens coming across the border to buy cigs at a far cheaper price and the indian reservations getting into the cig business, cigarettes were not only widely available, their use was increasing and the Canadian gov’t was not receiving the revenue.

So, they came to their senses and lowered the tax back to a reasonable level.”

I’m in Canada, and I don’t think this is true (though I stand to be corrected). The first part is true, but I don’t think they ever lowered the tax on cigarettes. In Ontario and Quebec, where Indian reserves are on the US border or close to it, the sale of Indian smokes is enormous. Federal and provincial governments lose billions, literally billions, in tax revenue, and smoke shacks are opening on the prairies too. It’s illegal for non-Indians to buy them, but the government is reluctant to crack down…

I can remember driving through North Carolina 40 years ago when smokes were less than $3 a carton. In Canada legal smokes must be more than $90 now…and yet people still buy them when they can’t get Indian ones…

BillBC on July 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM

A clerk at a tobacco shop in Hammond, Ind., less than a mile from the state line, says business has doubled since the latest increase began at the end of June.

uh..oh….sounds like a case of Economics 101.
Libtards are Hilarious!
Tim_CA on July 28, 2012 at 11:04 AM

And yet, these same folks will handily re-elect the same Dem/left statist morons to office time and time again.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on July 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Are you all blind, folks, or forgot the most important lesson of the Prohibition? The Democrats do not want to prosecute the smuggling, they want to participate in and eventually control it!

Archivarix on July 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM

There’s a certain man in IL who’s allegedly made millions off the backs of IL taxpayers for about 30 years now and it’s the same man who seems to stand in the way of IL passing any real effective legislation to help get the state out of financial collapse and it might be this man who seems to have a US Supreme Court-like appointment as the Speaker of the Illinois House and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that there’s a Mr. Big behind the cigarette smuggling and that it might be, could be, it is this man, making another killing off of legislation he’s gotten passed in IL.

stukinIL4now on July 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Out here the Indian Nations have casinos, some hotels, and usually a gas station on their indian lands… Gas is $0.40 cents per gallon cheaper than in SOCAL, and the convenience stores sell cigarettes MUCH CHEAPER than anywhere else… No limit on the amount of smokes one can purchase…

Good for them…

Khun Joe on July 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM

And yes, as others have said, they are trying like heck to regulate/tax/ban e-cigs as well…despite there being NO solid proof of health risks, etc….it is ALLLLLL about CONTROL AND $$MONEY$$ AS ALWAYS.

NY Conservative on July 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Qouting myself I know but…it reminds me of the scene in “It`s a Wonderful Life” where G.Bailey is arguing with Potter…
“I know very well what you’re talking about. You’re talking about something you can’t get your fingers on, and it’s galling you. That’s what you’re talking about, I know…”

NY Conservative on July 28, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Gov Quinn is creating jobs in IL – revenue agents and smugglers.
— and new businesses in IL – smuggling cigarets
Now he has to find a way to collect income tax on the smugglers and smuggling businesses.

Maybe he should start arresting the users of smuggled cigarets, you find them standing in front of many buildings in Chicago.

KenInIL on July 28, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Sure, ban tobacco.
And while you’re at it, look up Prohibition in your history book.

gordo on July 28, 2012 at 8:40 AM

So by that logic all drugs should be legalized? Drugs like alcohol, tobacco, and to a lesser extent caffeine have contributed to our society’s decay.

Nothing good comes from using any of these drugs.

nazo311 on July 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Illinois will never learn, if you want to increase revenue, you lower the tax.

booger71 on July 28, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Not always, see the Laffer curve.

nazo311 on July 28, 2012 at 11:42 AM

How long before we see an article about trading of sexual favors for a carton or two of out-of-state smokes? At almost $9.00/pack, might it be just a few packs?

Shaughnessy on July 28, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Gave up hard drinking and chasing women. Damned if I give up my Camel non-filters!

marinetbryant on July 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I don’t mind tobacco taxes. Heck, the stuff should probably be banned outright.

And that my friend is what allows government to interfere and dictate what everyone should eat or drink. Tobacco is a legal substance. Once you approve the govt throwing extreme taxes at it, expect extreme taxes on candy bars, sodas, McD burgers, etc.

katablog.com on July 28, 2012 at 12:06 PM

nazo311 on July 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome your latest hiber-troll,”Mr. Reductio Ad Absurdum”
.
Hi, Reductio.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on July 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Remind me one more time. Why are taxes acceptable at any rate on this product?

Bmore on July 28, 2012 at 12:19 PM

BWAHAHAHAH… Rise taxes and watch tax revenue’s plummet… America was founded on a revolt to paying 1/2 of a cent tax.

Happy Birthday Thad.

SWalker on July 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM

I switched to Remington little cigars when I found out they were 1.20$ a pack, in CALIFORNIA, you read that right, a pack of Camels 4.75$, my smoke shop, “cigars” 1.20$.
Ontario, California, corner of 4th and Grove, check it out
Bob

Bobnormal on July 28, 2012 at 12:41 PM

So by that logic all drugs should be legalized? Drugs like alcohol, tobacco, and to a lesser extent caffeine have contributed to our society’s decay.

Nothing good comes from using any of these drugs.

nazo311 on July 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Ah, but it does. My enjoyment of these kinds of comments increases exponentially with each dose of sweet, sweet ethanol.

hillbillyjim on July 28, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Are you all blind, folks, or forgot the most important lesson of the Prohibition? The Democrats do not want to prosecute the smuggling, they want to participate in and eventually control it!

Archivarix on July 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM

What utter nonsense.

there has never been a self-respecting Liberal poilitical family that built its wealth on bootlegging, and…

what?

Joe who?

uh…..never mind.

Tim_CA on July 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM

GarandFan on July 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Same thing goes on with energy conservation. Do everything you need to conserve electricity then your rates go up. Or look at the gas tax situation. People buying better vehicles that get more miles to the gallon so now talk of taxing you by the mile you drive.

chemman on July 28, 2012 at 12:58 PM

hillbillyjim on July 28, 2012 at 12:42 PM

sweet, sweet ethanol! Your taste buds are warped. :)

chemman on July 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

hillbillyjim on July 28, 2012 at 12:42 PM

sweet, sweet ethanol! Your taste buds are warped. :)

chemman on July 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

It’s a state of mind.

;>)

hillbillyjim on July 28, 2012 at 1:06 PM

All of these cigarette prohibitionists need to burn in hell, long and slow. They are the worst people on Earth. They are hateful, thieving abusers of government power with the people they think the public will allow them to abuse. This shows their true character, or utter lack, thereof (not that we had much of a question with most of these slimeballs).

Let their actions towards smokers be a lesson to everyone else because you aren’t too far away from their menacing and tyranny, either. These are the lowest forms of human existence there is. Wastes of flesh and threats to any society unlucky enough to be burdened with their existence.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 28, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Tim_CA on July 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM

very good!

teejk on July 28, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Drugs like alcohol, tobacco, and to a lesser extent caffeine have contributed to our society’s decay.

Nothing good comes from using any of these drugs.

nazo311 on July 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Are you serious??????? Have you any idea how much alcohol our forefathers consumed on a daily basis? It would put our own consumption at today’s levels to shame.

A pint of beer or two before you go off to work. More while working. Some grog at lunch, and rum or whiskey-laved switchel in the afternoon to counter the heat, more beer and/or rum or whiskey after work, beer with supper and some rum or whiskey in the evening.

That’s for the average working man you can replace some of the beer with wine and the evening’s libations with sherry or port for the upper class, but you get the idea.

George Washington, at the time of his taking command of the Continental Army, and through the rest of his life, was the largest single distiller of whiskey in these United States. He also enjoyed drinking it as well.

Puritanism and the anti-drinking evangelicals have had a far more deleterious effect upon our society than drinking ever has.

TKindred on July 28, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Puritanism and the anti-drinking evangelicals have had a far more deleterious effect upon our society than drinking ever has.

TKindred on July 28, 2012 at 1:37 PM

HAHAHAHHA! Bigotry is awesome!

tom daschle concerned on July 28, 2012 at 1:47 PM

HAHAHAHHA! Bigotry is awesome!

tom daschle concerned on July 28, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I have always subscribed to the single rule of life: “And ye harm no one, do as ye will.”

I’ve fallen short on occasion, but I try to live my life by that rule.

TKindred on July 28, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I have always subscribed to the single rule of life: “And ye harm no one, do as ye will.”

I’ve fallen short on occasion, but I try to live my life by that rule.

TKindred on July 28, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Congratulations Puritan.

tom daschle concerned on July 28, 2012 at 1:52 PM

The funny thing is the same morons tying to criminalize tobacco are trying to de-criminalize pot. We really need to put grown-ups back in charge.

Iblis on July 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Congratulations Puritan.

tom daschle concerned on July 28, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Que? What a moronic comment.

Shouldn’t you be squatting under a bridge somewhere with the other trolls?

TKindred on July 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Congratulations Puritan.

tom daschle concerned on July 28, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Sorry I called you a moronic troll. I see you are one of the tinfoil-hat wearing twoofers. Your family has my deepest sympathy. I’ll just not reply to anything you say anymore, since you’ve obviously closed your mind to reality.

TKindred on July 28, 2012 at 2:10 PM

TKindred on July 28, 2012 at 1:37 PM

I guess I should have been more detailed. Enjoying a few beers responsibly is OK, drunkenness is another thing though….

Name one good thing that came out of drunkenness….

nazo311 on July 28, 2012 at 2:35 PM

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