From: The Hill | Opinion
By Michael LaFaive and Scott Drenkard
As a component of Washington, D.C.’s most recent city budget, the district will raise its cigarette excise tax from $2.50 per pack to $4.50 next month. This development is notable not only because it means the tax will increase by 80 percent in just one year, but also because D.C. will have one of the highest state cigarette taxes in the country after the increase is in place Oct. 1.
Cigarette taxes are seen as a way to encourage people to kick a smoking habit. But in part because of the district’s small geographical area (just 68 square miles), and in part because of significantly lower cigarette taxes in nearby states, what this tax increase is more likely to do is to intensify cross-border shopping and illegal smuggling.