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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says the tax, which takes effect Friday, is expected to generate more than $25 million annually for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System.
She says higher taxes also will help lower smoking rates, including by discouraging people from starting.
The price of a pack of cigarettes could be near $11 in Chicago, $6.67 of which is city, county and state taxes. Only New York City -- at $6.86 in taxes -- slaps on higher taxes.
As for commercial cigarette trafficking, one has only to read the Justice Department's June 7, 2012 indictment of 10 individuals for the trafficking of untaxed cigarettes in Illinois to understand the potenial for increased criminal activity associated with the increased taxes.
The 10 indicted individuals paid more than $20 million to buy more than 10 million cigarettes without paying Cook County and State of Illinois taxes. Between cash seized when the individuals were arrested and the money seized from bank accounts, these individuals alone deprived the state and county of $1.6 million in potential tax revenue.
The Mackinac study also notes the social costs on increased cigarette taxes. While a casual smuggler with a vanload of untaxed cigarettes can make thousands of dollars, a commercial trafficker with a semi-trailer of cigarettes can make hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"Preckwinkle says the county Revenue Department will hire more staff to help stop tobacco smuggling and tax evasion."
Originally posted by dc4lifeskater
quit smoking or grow ur own tobacco.