Cute story from Connecticut about avoiding cigarette taxes

OK, this made me chuckle, and it kind of highlights some of the problems with states having wildly divergent cigarette taxes.

A gas station in Chester, N.Y., which is right on the N.Y.-Connecticut border, parked an ice cream truck at the far end of its parking lot, which is technically in Connecticut, so it could sell cigarettes for $1.35 less a pack than what they cost in New York. The Connecticut cigarette tax is $3 a pack, while the N.Y. tax is $4.35 a pack.

The gas station is using an old ice cream truck and according to the Connecticut Department of Revenue, it is legal.

This is kind of cute, but it also shows the problems with states having different cigarette taxes. If you have one state with a tax $1 a pack higher than a neighbouring state, then smokers will go to the trouble of crossing the border to load up on cartons of cigarettes. If they buy six cartons of cigarettes, they’ve just saved $60 in taxes. It also really ads to the black market of cigarettes, too.

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