Wisconsin revenue department officials are confiscating more illegal cigarettes according to Department Spokeswoman Jessica Iverson. Department agents seized around 12,000 illegal cigarettes in the fiscal year ending June 30th compared to around 3,000 the year prior.
The state hiked the cigarette tax by $1 to $1.77 January 1st. Iverson says prior to the tax taking effect the revenue department began ramping up efforts to educate retailers about the tax. This included an increased field presence of agents visiting stores and being more apt to find illegal cigarette operations.
Iverson says the number of seized smokes fluctuates from year to year depending on the market and the department's enforcement efforts.
Illegal cigarettes come from numerous sources including Internet vendors or smuggling by trucks.