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Higher Taxes Prompt Cigarette Smuggling Trade

September 24th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

Higher cigarette taxes are prompting a burgeoning smuggling trade along routes such as I-95 on the East Coast, and states are trying to stem the flood of illegal smokes to fight crime and regain lost revenue.  Lawmakers in Maryland and Virginia passed bills boosting the penalties on smuggling in the past year, and the Massachusetts Commission on Illegal Tobacco released a report March 1 with recommendations to crack down on trafficking. Legislation is also pending in states including New Jersey and Rhode Island. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, who made stops in Allegany and Garrett counties on Tuesday, has pushed for anti-smuggling legislation- saying its something that significant criminal entities are involved in, and it’s a target-rich environment.


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