From: NACS Online
New York City Proposal Would Push Cigarette Cost to Nation’s Highest
The mayor’s bill would raise the base price per pack of cigarettes to $13.
The proposals drew ire from the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS), which pointed out that illegal cigarettes are the real issue. “We resent the fact that the administration and the City Council are trying to attack law-abiding retailers when the real problem is on the streets,” said James Calvin, president of NYACS.
Bootleg cigarettes go for as low as $7 a pack on city streets, with 55.5% of cigarettes lit up in the state coming from illegal sources in 2014, according to a study by the Tax Foundation. New York State is No. 1 in terms of cigarette smuggling. “This whole package of bills is misdirected at licensed, responsible retailers of tobacco products,” Calvin added. “The biggest challenge facing New York City is a pervasive black market cigarette epidemic. That’s where kids get cigarettes. That’s where hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers get untaxed cigarettes every day out on the street from black marketers and bootleggers who undercut licensed taxed retailers like the ones we represent.”