Kahn: Michigan needs tougher tobacco enforcement
Friday, December 16, 2011
LANSING — State Sen. Roger Kahn wants to shed light on the alarming nationwide trend of cigarette smuggling, which often benefits terrorists while shorting states tobacco tax revenue.
“As chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I was shocked and appalled to learn that unscrupulous cigarette retailers can circumvent wholesalers and buy smuggled cigarettes on the black market without paying taxes,” said Kahn, R-Saginaw Township. “Even more disturbing is the revelation that there are financial links between cigarette smuggling and terrorists and organized crime. This is costing Michigan tens of millions of dollars a year.”
According to U.S. Rep. Peter King (a Republican from New York who chairs the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security), nationwide, states lose an estimated $5 billion in revenues annually, while $3.8 billion is lost at the federal level.
“Simply stated, Michigan needs tougher tobacco enforcement to help ensure the state receives every tax dollar it deserves and desperately needs right now,” Kahn said. “We need to crack down on cigarette smuggling.”
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