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Cigarette smuggling rampant across state

April 9, 2014

Large differentials in cigarette taxes across the country have incentivized a startling and ever-increasing black market for illegal cigarettes across state line....

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(22)

wnycritic

Apr-10-14 2:27 PM

As a Chautauqua County Born man and current Pennsylvania citizen, I declare you all WELCOME to come to our beautiful state to buy gas, smokes, and anything else you wish. It's a free country! (=

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American

Apr-10-14 10:55 AM

As far as the toll both idea remember that can work both ways. The Seneca's could put them up also.

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DarkStar

Apr-10-14 7:20 AM

As for the whole sovereign nation thing, NYS could easily, and legally, put up toll/customs booths at all entrances to the reservation.

Problem solved.

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DarkStar

Apr-10-14 7:16 AM

joew,

That is why any legalization in our state would need to come with restrictions on who could grow and sell it, otherwise the reservations will become pot central.

Although I do support legalizing MJ for medical use, and may even support it for recreational use, assuming certain safe guards were put in place.

hadenough,

While it's illegal for you or I to buy Cuban cigars, politicians are not bound by the same law (and truthfully the embargo should be ended as it was nothing more than political scapegoating and appeasement for the Cuban lobby in the US.)

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Buffalo2

Apr-10-14 3:56 AM

Sovereign Nation ? What a joke. It’s not the 1800’s, Native Americans have been given every opportunity to succeed on and off the Reservation. No taxes, free education, free health care, free housing, free, free, free. The casinos and the tax free sales of cigarettes/gas have exploited their own people. Thus this "Sovereign Nation” has produced absolutely nothing except off the chart unemployment, high school dropout rates, alcoholism/drug use, crime and teen pregnancy. If it wasn’t for the State and Federal Government they’d be still dragging their wounded. But WNY won’t complain because Native Americans are the only people spending (our) money.

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Captain

Apr-09-14 8:17 PM

"...if you take a walk I'll tax your feet..."

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tjefson

Apr-09-14 7:43 PM

If I can avoid paying a tax I will do it. In this kind of environment the shadow economy will thrive. Who wants to see any of their money in the hands of the government. Those in power have set the standard and provided numerous corrupt examples.

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Captain

Apr-09-14 5:39 PM

hadenough: BC probably told ML that same story, and the rest is American history. A cigar that old wasn't worth smoking, but then Monica's own testimony reveals she didn't smoke it (the cigar).

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hadenough

Apr-09-14 5:17 PM

Remember this. Prior to the Cuban embargo JFK had his cronies go to Cuba and buy him thousands of cigars. Who knows those cigars might have stayed in the Oval office and Clinton put them to good use. Pretty neat, huh?

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joew

Apr-09-14 4:49 PM

Same thing will happen if they legalize the wacky weed crap. There already are problems in CO.

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Captain

Apr-09-14 12:13 PM

Was the cigar used between Bill & Monica taxed?

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DarkStar

Apr-09-14 10:45 AM

Well personally I have less of an issue with a President going after Marilyn Monroe then one going after Monica Lewinsky.

I mean carrying on with Monroe is understandable while carrying with Lewinsky shows poor judgment, I mean get real the President is arguably the most powerful man in the world so why would you settle for Lewinsky? LOL!

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Steiner

Apr-09-14 10:04 AM

hey hadenough, take your logic just a bit further. joe gave us JFK, who got shot and then LBJ. We could say prohibition gave us Vietnam, 55,000 dead.agent orange to boot ! but we had camelot. why do activists do such stupid things !why dont they learn from these huge mistakes ? who can forget the womanizing in the white house cuz of this ? remember Marilin monro and Happy Birthday song to JFK? its popular to this day !

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hadenough

Apr-09-14 8:46 AM

Buffalo. One of the biggest smugglers during prohibition was Joe Kennedy. YOu know the father of John F Kennedy. What did his smuggling operation get him? A dynasty of Kennedys who lived off the public as public officials.

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hadenough

Apr-09-14 8:42 AM

I have to wonder. Do the affects of cigarettes affect Virginians and N Carolinians differently? One has to ask the question why does New York state charge over $4 tax on a pack of smokes. Now please do not say its the medical costs. It is greed and poor government who has to tax the poor to survive. NYS has a tax rate of 16.9% one of the highest in the nation. And Cuomo wants businesses to move to the state? Ya I can see that happening. So until the politicians get their s**t together the smuggling of cigarettes will continue.

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Captain

Apr-09-14 8:30 AM

NYS lawmakers, aligning themselves with anti-smoking advocacy groups, have consistently supported the campaign against tobacco by heavily regulating its use, not to mention affixing an obscene level of taxes against a legal product, allegedly to discourage its use as well. Under this successful campaign, the ramifications with respect to lost state tax revenues was expected, therefore, the state created this black mkt demand, yet now complains about it? You know what the next step is, dontcha? Hire more NYS law enforcement officials, silly!

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Steiner

Apr-09-14 7:44 AM

Hey buffalo, do you actually understand anything ? by your logic we should increase the tax on tobacco to fund extra police efforts to stop smuggling. i will bet that at least some govt people are on the take here. You cannot move all that contraband without inside help. Think of prohibition, that lead to massive govt corruption. i guess choice in NY does not apply to tobacco, only abortions. I support the Native americans here to the hilt. My grandparents were great bootleggers. Always one step ahead of the govt types. We stole the whole country from the Native americans. We can let them do untaxed tobacco and gas. I wish them all the success . After all, my grandparents saved the bootleg money and lived off it during the great economic boom by democrats in the 30s, the depression.

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SJMinTX

Apr-09-14 7:27 AM

Why does smuggling exist in the first place? Because the only thing NY knows is "tax 'em to the grave." Do they think for a second about lowering the taxes? Nope. They want a "strike force." The citizens of NY should get a "strike force" of their own and throw out the nitwits in Albany.

The argument about Native Americans indicates a complete misunderstanding of the facts: The land they occupy, according to federal law and treaties dating back a century or more, is sovereign land. They are their own country within a country. You can't legally seize anything from them.

The real problem with ALL of New York is it's tax structure/mentality and now you have a governor declaring that people who believe in the Constitution of the United States are not welcome in NY. Your elected leaders are digging YOUR graves. The only question is: how long will you let them continue to do so?

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DarkStar

Apr-09-14 7:21 AM

Buffalo2,

It's funny how so many are so fast to claim people are greedy, but never apply the same standard to the government, at any level.

Do you ever go to Erie to shop? If so wouldn't that be greedy since you are depriving Chautauqua County and NYS of sales tax on your purchases?

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tjefson

Apr-09-14 7:00 AM

Ah, the underground economy. Who can blame anyone? However, I know it is hard on regular contractor who bids against someone collecting unemployment and doing odd jobs for cash.

The extremely high gasoline tax is supposed to be used to keep our roads and infrastructure in acceptable conditions. Instead we have some of the worst roads in the nation. By the time they pay the people there is nothing left to buy any materials.

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Buffalo2

Apr-09-14 6:55 AM

Native Americans are also to blame. These individuals, to include “tribal leaders" have exploited a loophole in State and Federal LAW for greed, thus putting this Country in danger. The profits of smuggling operations have been linked to terrorist organizations throughout the world. Cuomo needs to get out of bed with the reservation and enforce the LAW. NYS can start by seizing all related assets (ie: vehicles/money). If “tribal leaders” threaten to shut down the thruway (again), NYS needs to shut off utilities. It’s amazing with cold and dark can do.

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Christopher

Apr-09-14 5:59 AM

How about all of the cigarettes purchased on the Reservations? Does the Governor have a clue how many people dive to Pennsylvania for cigarettes, stamped or not? It was predicted, and obviously so, that smuggling would occur when NYS decided to set the highest tax in the nation on cigarettes. In summation, big deal.

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