New tobacco tax? -

New tobacco tax?

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer


Smoke 'em...if you can afford 'em! That may be the reaction of a lot of smokers in Illinois, now that one watchdog group is pushing for a $1 a pack increase in the state tax on tobacco products. Think about that - smokers in Illinois would pay $16 more for a carton of cigarettes than their neighbors in Missouri. Now Illinois has another worry: Bootlegging. They already got signs posted on every road leading into Illinois, warning of a $25-thousand dollar fine, and loss of your vehicle. You can transport one carton for personal use - but that's it. State officials with the Dept. of Revenue say it's already a problem, and one study estimates is cost the state millions in lost revenue, in tax stamps that are never purchased by retailers. It's not hard to see why enterprising criminals take note - a truckload full of cigarettes multiplies by $8 to $10 profit on each carton. But the ISP and others are watching for it, even if enforcement isn't easy.

Marc Cox

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