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The Stamp Act Redux? [Updated Below]

16 June 2010 @ 15:15

Whilst wandering through the bountiful garden groves of The Other McCain yesterday, I came upon this item from The Hagerstown Herald-Mail, Don Aines reporting, that Stacy quoted:

A bench warrant was issued Tuesday for a New York man who failed to appear in Washington County Circuit Court on charges of smuggling hundreds of packs of untaxed cigarettes.

Chandrakant Petigara, 70, of 212-29 Hillside Ave., Apt. 3JE, Queens Village, was scheduled to be in court to face charges of transporting unstamped cigarettes and possession of untaxed cigarettes, according to the charge summary filed in Washington County District Court.

The cigarettes did not have Maryland tax stamps and Petigara did not have a permit to transport untaxed cigarettes into or through the state, the statement of probable cause said.

Cigarette smuggling has being going on ever since states started taxing the evil weed.  Organized Crime has been involved in the practice since it’s formation in The United States.  I’ve heard reports that agents of Jihad are thought to be doing it to raise monies for their nefarious schemes.

This trade has increased ten-fold as many nanny-state states have imposed very high and unfair taxes on smokers.

But, what struck me about this story was the fact that such a tax, requiring each pack to be stamped, is just like The Stamp Act of Parliament back in the 1760’s, except for Great Britain, you can substitute states like New York.

I don’t know who this Chandrakant Petigara fella is or if he works for the Jihadists or The Mob, but, if he doesn’t and is merely acting as a free agent, I wish him well — I hope he beats the rap [WOLVERINES!].

Also: I have no idea what nationality the man is [probably some country in The Orient], but I would like to know if the translation of his name into English would be ‘John Hancock’.

It should be noted that Stacy posted about this story for totally different reasons then I did and, in his usual manner, was quite entertaining in his comments, so I would urge you to head on over to TOM and read his one.

UPDATE on 17JUN2010 at 0737…

In the Comments Section, Matt, proprietor of the Conservative Hideout, refers us to a posting he did in April of 2009 on the failure of cigarette taxes to achieve the ends envisioned by the nanny-staters and do-gooders and how a certain group outside the law ends up profiting.

Please do take the time to click here and read the whole thing.

  1. 16 June 2010 @ 21:36 21:36

    I’ve been meaning to write a post about the economics of cigarette smuggling because it’s often brought up to “prove” regulating marijuana vs. prohibition wouldn’t reduce crime. The problem however is, that cigarette smuggling and illegal marijuana sales operate in virtually similar restricted markets. Not to mention both are plants that grow in the ground. We can no more eradicate them than we can warm the globe. It’s utopian fantasy. So we force them underground where only crime pays.

  2. 17 June 2010 @ 03:06 03:06

    I did a post about this last year. The mob is making a killing (heh-heh) on illegal smokes.

  3. hustle permalink
    19 June 2010 @ 11:54 11:54

    This type of tax evasion is rampant in New York. Street level sellers travel to their local Indian reservation where they purchase large amounts tax free then aggressively sell them on the street, in front of legit businesses, and out of drug houses often at .75 to a dollar for an individual cigarette or “loosey”. For a small time dealer this racket is probably more profitable then selling crack or weed (as there is no longer a middleman) with far less risk. Our community even had a murder as a result of a dispute over territory related to this activity. The tax laws are rarely enforced on small timers and even when they are nothing is done with the cases. This problem could be easily solved by no longer allowing the Indian reservations to sell such “sin tax” items to non-indians.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      19 June 2010 @ 12:48 12:48

      Or by reducing the ridiculous tax and stop trying to use taxes to regulate behavior.


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