Monthly Archives: July 2014

Tobacco Taxation and Unintended Consequences: U.S. Senate Hearing on Tobacco Taxes Owed, Avoided, and Evaded

From: The Tax Foundation

By Scott Drenkard

Hearing on Tobacco: Taxes Owed, Avoided, and Evaded Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

Chairman Wyden, Ranking Member Hatch, and members of the Committee:

I appreciate the opportunity to submit this statement on tobacco taxes and their impact across the country. In the 77 years since our founding in 1937, the Tax Foundation has monitored tax policy trends at the federal and state levels, and our data and research are heavily relied upon by policymakers, the media, and the general public. Our analysis is guided by the idea that taxes should be as simple, neutral, transparent, and stable as possible, and as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, we take no position on any pending legislation.

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Costa Rica’s Cigarette-Tax Regime a Gift to Black Markets

From: PanAm Post/Opinion

Busybodies Fail to Improve Health, Do Make Smuggling More Profitable

David Rodríguez Suárez

Franklin Murillo, the manager of British American Tobacco in Costa Rica, told La Nación on March 31 that “In the face of higher taxes on a legal product … an illicit market will arise that does not compete under equal conditions and provides products at lower prices and lower quality.”

This is a phenomenon that merits our attention. Since the enactment of the Anti-Tobacco Law in Costa Rica on March 2012, we’ve been under the impression that cigarette use has gone down. However, in reality, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in illegal smuggling, and all because of a lack of understanding of how the market works.

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Use of contraband tobacco appears to be up in Nova Scotia: ‘butt study’

From: News Herald

DAN ARSENAULT Crime Reporter

More Nova Scotians appear to be opting for cheap contraband cigarettes, according to a “butt study” paid for by the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association.

For the study, Montreal research firm Niric analyzed 3,050 cigarette butts collected from 27 locations across the province this spring, and found that one in five were illegal, or contraband, smokes.

The numbers show a 40 per cent increase (from 14.6 to 20.4 per cent) from a similar study done in 2013.

Read Complete Article

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Prosecution seeks to close cigarette trafficking hearing


By Joe Beck

The prosecution in a cigarette trafficking case is planning to propose an order that the next courtroom hearing scheduled for Aug. 6 in Shenandoah County Circuit Court be closed to the press and the rest of the public.

Attempts to conduct courtroom hearings behind closed doors are a rarity in adult criminal cases, but Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Louis Campola said he intended to write up such an order subject to approval by Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp.

“We’re closing the hearing,” Campola said in a brief interview Tuesday.

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Partners in Crime? The EU, its Strategic Partners and International Organised Crime

From: FRIDE – A European Think Tank for Global Action

By Thomas Renard (Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations)

Organised crime is a major security challenge.

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