Sunday, June 15, 2014

When high taxes create criminals

No one hates cigarettes more than I do--they are destroyers of health and burners of money needed for other goods and services. However, this is just stupid. 56.9% of the cigarettes consumed in New York are now smuggled into the state, according to a report from the Tax Foundation. Why? The cigarette tax in New York is $4.35 a pack, the highest in the nation. And New York City imposes an additional $1.50 tax, bringing the total taxes to $5.85 a pack — nearly 35 times higher... than in the lowest-taxed state. It's the classic "sin" tax. The people hurt the most are poor and they are probably the targets for the smuggling. This is an example of how any ridiculously high tax is counter productive. In 1960 the top tax rate was 91%, and total tax receipts as % of GDP was 7.9%. In 2013 the top tax rate was 39.6% and total tax receipts as % of GDP was 7.6%.

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