Main | Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bronx Pol: If You Tax Cigarettes Too Much, The Terrorists Have Won

A just-approved hike in the state tax on cigarettes will raise the cost to around $12/pack in NYC, prompting Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benjamin to claim that Gov. Paterson hates Israel. Because higher cigarette prices encourages bootlegging. Which is done by terrorists.
"Criminals and terrorists will be further enticed to take advantage of the price differential between high tax and low tax jurisdictions, ie, NYS/NYC, Native American reservation smokeshops, and/or any southern state. We are sowing the seeds of increased terrorism-related activities by those who mean America, Israel and our other allies harm," he said.
Terrorists have been found in the cigarette bootlegging business. The new tax is expected to generate about $440M in added revenue. The state budget has a current shortfall of $9B. NYC adds its own tax to cigarettes and when the price first hit $10/pack last year, the city estimated that about 40,000 residents gave up the habit. A survey taken at the time indicated that the next "breaking point" for smokers would be at the $15/pack level.

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