Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chicago alderman: High cigarette taxes could lead to "the next large wave of crime"

As DNAInfo Chicago reports, an alderman from Chicago's West Side says that higher cigarette taxes are leading to more crime.
Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) held a news conference Wednesday calling on the Illinois General Assembly and the Cook County Board of Commissioners to reduce taxes on cigarettes.

Ervin said Wednesday the current cigarette tax, which is the second-highest in the country behind New York City, has the potential to cause "the next large wave of crime," similar to crime caused by the city's drug trade.

Ervin said he can see the negative impact in his own ward, which includes East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park and Austin.

"You can go to the front of some stores and there are literally people out there fighting over who is going to get to sell a guy two cigarettes for a dollar," Ervin said. "This is not the type of activity I want to see in my ward."
The latest cigarette tax hike occurred on March 1--since then it's been mostly cold and snowy in Chicago. Warm weather will make this situation worse.

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