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Smoke 'em if you got 'em! The Cartels are bringing 'em!

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posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 09:14 AM
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I recall just a few short years ago when it was the subject of jokes to say that the endless push for higher and higher taxes on Cigarettes would lead to a true black market like the narcotics industry. So, it's with no small amount of irony I bring this story to share. It would seem the largest drug dealers in the world have seen the light...and profit...in lighting up.

Mexican cartels now trafficking … cigarettes?


Those Mexican crime syndicates certainly find their way into the news a lot, don’t they? When they’re not running guns from American government sources, kidnapping children for prostitution or shipping tons of coc aine and marijuana through tunnels they’re busy corrupting the government. But it seems that now they’ve found yet another avenue of profit, and just like in many states in the USA it popped up after the government decided to jack up the tax rate on smokes.


I'm surprised it took them this long. While smoking, Missouri ranked among the lowest in the nation on prices. I quit in 2010 (April 15...for that little touch of meaning to an otherwise bad day in fact
) although before I quit I enjoyed buying $20 cartons in Missouri to smoke cheap in California or New York while the locals paid $40-$60 or more for the same 10 packs!


The new tax has a pack of smokes in Mexico going for an average of 35.5 pesos (currently $2.69 US) as compared to 20.5 pesos ($1.69) on the black market. And as more and more buyers flee to the cartels for their fix, the result is pretty much the same as we’ve seen in Illinois and New York – among other states. The anticipated tax boom fails to materialize in the government’s coffers and instead winds up financing criminal endeavors.


It figures though that I only tried legally buying a carton in Mexico once. Just once. I was so happy with myself too.. It was years before I quit but I walked over the border at Progresso, Texas and got myself a carton in the Duty Free for what seemed like Pennies on the dollar. My happiness lasted all of about 100 yards...when the Border Agent at the desk proceeded to charge me full tax rate, per pack to give Texas and Uncle their due. Can't win for losing.


It seems everyone is in on the act sometimes....


But this may not be bad news for everybody. As we’ve discussed before, there are a couple of international agencies who are very interested in seeing cigarette taxes go up around the world, primarily so they can get a cut of the action. They are the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
Source

So what exactly is the act everyone is in on? Well, lets look at the US market with taxes. It's easy to assume that taxes are taxes and they're all about equal. Nothing could be further from the truth, as I saw on Smokes, Diesel and many other things while traveling the nation daily for years. In this case, lets see why Cigarettes make a profitable black market:

(src)

Amazingly, the tax rates vary SO much per state that real and measurable profit can be made without even getting into the Mexican Cartel side of things and that speaks volumes to the drive to alter behavior by the tax code. Here is how it actually results in counter price from the top to the lowest 5 in actual price paid.

Combined Total Tax Rates before Retail Price (Top 5)

  1. New York City ($1.50) - New York State ($4.35) = $5.85 per Pack
  2. Chicago ($0.68) - Cook County ($2.00) - Illinois ($1.98) = $4.66 per pack
  3. Evanston ($0.50) - Cook County ($2.00) - Illinois ($1.98) = $4.48 per pack
  4. New York State ($4.35) - Excluding New York City = $4.35 per pack
  5. Anchorage ($2.206) - Alaska ($2.00) = $4.206 per pack
Combined Total Tax Rates before Retail Price (Lowest 5)

  1. New Mexico ($1.66) - No local taxes = $1.66 per pack
  2. Delaware ($1.60) - No local taxes = $1.60 per pack
  3. Pennsylvania ($1.60) No local taxes = $1.60 per pack
  4. Minnnesota ($1.60) - No local taxes = $1.60 per pack
  5. Cuyahoga County ($0.345) - Plus Ohio ($1.25) = $1.595 per pack
(src)

So with all of the above numbers taken into account, I wonder if this isn't a case of a problem entirely of our own making? I recall nearly 20 years ago, when the push for taxing cigarettes first began. It started as an argument to cover the medical costs of smokers. Oddly, I missed that help when my father passed in 2010 of Smoking related lung cancer, but okay, someone must have gotten the help. Now though, in many reports, it's outright a case made to modify behavior by tax.

Perhaps it's just me here, but I believe the cause or it's merit is irrelevant. When cigarettes are outlawed or finally taxed to the point of actually reducing demand to negligible levels, the states will maintain that cash flow. It will simply come from things non-smokers are doing without such crushing taxes transferred over now. In this way, taxes are never good, no matter the justification or stated goal. Money is all it ever boils down to, IMO.

In this case, money for people like the Mexican Drug Cartels is one major aspect. When Cigarettes actually become proiftable enough to take space and effort along side the traditional products of such groups. We have scary times and scary use of the tax code, to my thinking.

Anyone support taxes being used strictly to manipulate behavior? I'd love to hear the reasoning and how it should be acceptable?




posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 10:02 AM
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I do not support sin taxes at all. In fact, I'm extremely tired of the robber barony taxing us to death and leaving us very little of our own money.

Government has no business regulating behavior.

That being said, I don't understand smoking at all and would love to see an end to it period.



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by EvilSadamClone
I do not support sin taxes at all. In fact, I'm extremely tired of the robber barony taxing us to death and leaving us very little of our own money.

Government has no business regulating behavior.


The demand for cigarettes is like oil. If you double the price, people cut down very little on consumption. The government knows that, but sees tax on cigarettes, like gas as a thing to be milked.

Also bear in mind that it is over-ridingly the poor who smoke. Again the government knows that but is happy to make the poorest people in society pay through the nose for one of their few remaining pleasures.

The poor usually pay most of the tax in society. They are weak. Rich people, on the other hand, can afford to protect themselves with $1,000 per hour tax lawyers.







edit on 2-9-2012 by ollncasino because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by ollncasino
 


Government never met a tax it didn't like.

Sad but true.



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 10:16 AM
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try the taxes in the uk a pack of 20 cigs is about $11.50 plus and a ounce of rolling tobacco $12 for 25 gramms ? while in holland or belgium the same tobacco is a mere $4 . so much for being one happy family in europe the limit you are allowed to cross boarders with is 10 pouches of tobacco or 400 cigs the blackmarket has a field day over here $13 dollers for a 50 gramm pack on the black market commpared to $25 dollars in the shop for the same product .gas is $12 a gallon in the uk diesil is dearer . there was so many people using cooking oil for there veihicles that the goverment put the price of it through the roof the goverment over here is a joke and will shortly put a minimum price on alchohol per unit which will see some drinks more than double in price the bootleggers will have a field day



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 10:32 AM
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They're robbing you lot blind at those prices ... blackmarket much better no taxes ... been buy blackmarket cigarrettes for years ... cheaper and only way can get the ones I prefer ... currently pay equivalent of u.s 1.00 per pack for Djarums ...



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 10:35 AM
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You could also apply that theory to corporations and taxes.....

look at how corporations use different localities to avoid regulations and taxes....

They all should pay a flat tax rate both business and private income....

end the phony tax schemes and loopholes for everyone and make it all a flat tax....

businesses can only deduct "direct business" costs

stop the fake Enron accounting ... GAAP is a joke today....



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 10:42 AM
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When someone takes your money against your will that is called theft. Government puts a label on it called tax and suddenly everyone is retarded and thinks it is not theft and it's ok. Amazing how easy it is to brain wash people isn't it...


it is time to start calling it what it is THEFT!


edit on 2-9-2012 by hawkiye because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 11:04 AM
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Cigarettes have always been cheaper in the US, than Canada. Even to bring in legally, they were still cheaper and could be "re sold" here (not legal) for a profit worthy of the trip. haha.

But...while everyone's attention is diverted to the Mexican/U.S. border, the other Columbian's are politely saturating north west U.S.A. with enough green to make everyone smile. (British Columbians that is!) haha.



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 11:19 AM
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Well I live in NYS myself and have for 30+ yrs, although they have never gotten a penny from me on cigarette taxes. I give all my $$ to support the local native population, always have and always will. Plus a few of my family members are native so it wouldn't really cross my mind not to put my money into their nation vs NYS coffers. I pay 15 dollars for a carton of smokes here but if it were at the local store it would be around 50.00.



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


gee wrabbit if you were willing to cross the border into mexico...

just visit your nearest reservation and buy your tobacco products there

no border guards lying in wait to steal from you

though i should point out that the thieves are on to this and are trying to make it illegal

so eventually you're going to have to look into growing your own [hydro- or aquaponics]
edit on 2-9-2012 by DerepentLEstranger because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 11:27 AM
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Cigs downstate NY and metro area are over $100 bucks a carton now.

Im a smoker myself but I have not purchased cigarettes from the store in a few years. It's just too expensive. Frankly, I cannot see how anyone affords it when I see ppl buying them @ those prices.

There are cheaper ways out there. Drive to a Native American Rez., or if you cannot, you can order online from Europe.

European brands are not FSC (fire safety) and therefore safer than US produced cigs. No carpet glue.




 
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posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 11:36 AM
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i still smoke, and if the current brand goes up much higher i will have to quit.
i use to smoke the smooth one's, ya know joe camel. but here in fl. the price for them is almost six bucks a pack.

so i switched to a brand called native, they are made by the mohawk nation. where i buy them cost is $ 3.72 tax and all.

and they have no additives, just pure tobacco, or so they say. but i believe them. when i smoked humps i coughed all the time. since i switched about four years now, i hardly ever cough any more. as a matter of fact i can't remember the last time i coughed.

and yes your right the are they are trying to modify behavior. next they will want to tax all food and drink and then it will be the air you breathe.

i did a quick search to see how many packs of cigarettes are sold every day in the U.S. the numbers run all over, the most frequent number i see is 60 million packs a day are sold or about 22 billion a year.
so if you take a tax of $1.60 as in the op that comes up to about $35,200.000 in taxes.multiply that x 7 that comes to 2.464 billion a week. i think you can see where i'm going with this.

there's big money in taxes, and they are gonna milk us all they can on each and everything that they can tax.
edit on 2-9-2012 by hounddoghowlie because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 11:40 AM
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Maybe Heisenberg will start to make cigarettes too.

He can fund his new Meth operation with his tobacco supplement.


 
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posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by EvilSadamClone
I do not support sin taxes at all. In fact, I'm extremely tired of the robber barony taxing us to death and leaving us very little of our own money.

Government has no business regulating behavior.

That being said, I don't understand smoking at all and would love to see an end to it period.



I agree with all except for your last statement.... or I guess we could apply that to 100s of things...

The problem I have is as you said it, first is the sin tax, and second is the behavior manipulation. Didn't Obama say that he would love to see gas 10 bucks a gallon to change America's behavior about commuting? We will see tax on anything that may be bad for you to eat or drink too, or like New York city, completely banned things, like large drinks...


Also, I see much of this as a way to tax the poor in ways that people would not totally freak out over.



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 12:21 PM
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I roll my own smokes out of pipe tobacco. It tastes like dog#$%& and it's killing me twice as quick. The filters are garbage compared to real cigarettes but its cheap.

I'm surprised to see how many young people are actually smoking. My younger cousins just got out of high school and all of their friends smoke. I thought kids today might have known better. They can't afford real cigarettes so they smoke the pipe tobacco also.
edit on 2-9-2012 by wantsome because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 12:32 PM
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Reply to post by wantsome
 


I roll my own aswell and yes they taste like dog#$%& lol. I dont know about the killing us twice as fast though, I could be wrong but the tobaco I buy doesn't have all the additives that manufactured cigarettes have. it sure tastes like its killing us 2x faster


 
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posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 12:40 PM
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Originally posted by DerepentLEstranger
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


gee wrabbit if you were willing to cross the border into mexico...

just visit your nearest reservation and buy your tobacco products there

no border guards lying in wait to steal from you

though i should point out that the thieves are on to this and are trying to make it illegal

so eventually you're going to have to look into growing your own [hydro- or aquaponics]
edit on 2-9-2012 by DerepentLEstranger because: (no reason given)


Well, I'll tell ya what. You'd think that would be a solution, wouldn't you? Just head to New Mexico or Oklahoma and stock up at the reservations! To be fair, I did know of a couple little stores well off the main roads I'd stumbled across by accident while picking up or delivering in that area southeast of Tulsa and between 44 and 40. Not on Hwy 75/69 but off where the tourists don't go. THERE..I found a few deals. At least, years ago.

You know what I found at all the reservations outside those exceptions?? They don't have the taxes..No...They just got downright mercenary. I suppose they figured that if we were all going to pay $30 a Carton down the road and across the Res border, then by goodness, we could pay $28 at their Res counter. They just called the balance in taxes they didn't have to charge a pure profit. oooo that used to annoy me no end when I smoked.
What is the world coming to?



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


I support higher cigarette taxes.

Why?

Because smokers are a burden on our society, especially those who are willfully ignorant to the damage that their habit does.

They pollute, they litter and they drive up the costs of health care to treat illnesses that could have easily been prevented by I don't know, not smoking? I developed asthma from a combination of factors (growing up in a household with a smoker, breathing in dirty city air for over 10 years, etc). I have tried cigarettes but thankfully, that never caught on.

To be fair, cars pollute too and we already pay out the roof to maintain such vehicles (taxes, fees, insurance, etc).

You can go ahead and attack me if you please but I will never feel sorry for cigarette smokers that have to pay more. Suck it up or quit!
edit on 2-9-2012 by VaterOrlaag because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 12:45 PM
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Speaking about the gripes over cigarette tax, WELL, guess its time to... QUIT SMOKING!!


Glad I never started that nasty habit, nor anyone in my family either! Besides, I'm a LOT richer too not having to spend several bucks a pack every day like some folks.


Time to quit folks before you are penniless, eh?


edit on 2-9-2012 by HangTheTraitors because: (no reason given)




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