With Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois taxes all included, smokers now pay $4.66 a pack in taxes in Chicago. That’s the second-highest cigarette tax in the nation, trailing only New York City at $5.85. People looking to make quick cash don’t need to travel far to buy cheap cigarettes. Indiana’s tax is just $0.995 a pack, and Missouri’s tax is the lowest in the country at just $0.17. [Illinois Department of Revenue head investigator John] Chambers says cigarette smuggling is now as lucrative as drug smuggling, with much lower penalties.
Which is what they’re no doubt angling to change, largely because the point of raising cigarette taxes in the first place was to give the state of Illinois more revenue to waste. Instead, they’ve initiated a new generation of Illinois residents into the ancient and esoteric mysteries of the Gentlemen. Brilliant move there, Illinois. No, really: smuggling is one of those necessary professions that civilization doesn’t want to admit is necessary, mostly because it’s most necessary in those situations where civilization has temporarily broken down. Keeping the skill set alive is probably for the best.
Via Hot Air.
PS: What? No, actually I myself quit smoking myself years ago. But I don’t hate smokers, or the idea that somebody, somewhere, may be lighting up a cigarette. And I can tell the difference between, say, crack cocaine and the absence of a tax stamp.