October 25, 2014

Cigarette tax revenues get snuffed out

Smokers are apparently finding ways to avoid Wisconsin’s cigarette tax.

It’s now estimated the 75-cent a pack tax that took effect in September will generate $92 million less revenue for the state than originally projected. Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance President Todd Berry says that’s not a big surprise. He says the hike gave the Badger State one of the highest tobacco taxes in the nation, and also the Midwest.

As a result, he says many smokers are likely crossing the borders to neighboring states with a lower tax or are finding ways to buy cigarettes online. Berry also suspects a black market for tobacco products has cropped up, with many people trying to find cheaper smokes.

Wisconsin’s cigarette tax is sixth highest in the country.

AUDIO: John Colbert reports (:39)

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