Thursday, December 13, 2012

Retailers smuggling cigarettes into Cook Couny

I've been warning for years about people smuggling cigarettes from less-taxed jurisdictions after tobacco taxes go up.

What I didn't predict is retailers sneaking in cigarettes.

But I should never sell short the grifters I live among in the Chicago area.

From CBS 2 Chicago:
Cook County investigators have been raiding stores across the county that have been breaking the law, and ripping off taxpayers of millions of dollars, by selling cigarettes without proper taxes.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot rode along with authorities during a recent raid.

At a store in Berwyn, a shelf of cigarettes was left bare, after more than 200 packs were confiscated by the Cook County Department of Revenue Compliance Division Investigation Unit. Only four packs in the entire store had the required Cook County tax stamp.

"For every pack that is sold without the county tax stamp, there's $2 lost," Cook County Revenue Department investigator Timothy J. O'Connor said. You're talking $400 right there alone."
Is this why Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel passed on hiking the Chicago cigarette tax?

As for Cook County--the proliferation of scofflaws surely must have a negative effect on their revenue projections.

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