Criminals & Terrorists supplant licensed Firms and Jobs, as $2.5 billion in tax is lost each year

staten island cigarette bustPolice recovered more than 2,500 cartons of cigarettes from Michael Zekry’s van and home, (Pictured, Courtesy of Staten Island District Attorney’s Office)

The interdiction of 2500 cartons of contraband is laudable. But let’s be realistic. Governmental and Industry studies conclude that more than 30 million cartons of untaxed cigarettes enter New York each year.

The New York City Department of Health found that the smokingBelow is an example of its magnitude. But we must do more! rate in the City increased from 14% to 16% in the past three years (due to the availability of cheap illegal smokes). The Police Department has uncovered a fraction of the massive illegal cigarette profits going to fund terrorism both here and abroad. The Governor asserts to have formed a 13 agency anti-cigarette-smuggling force. Yet in spite of the above, each year the amount of properly taxed product in New York declines! We are truly “smoking more now and enjoying it less.” Less revenue; less respect for our laws; less legal businesses and less New York jobs, but instead, we have more criminality; more stores selling contraband; more need of policing; more funding of terrorism; more health costs; more organized and violent crime!

Our association represents the New York State Tax Collection Agents, who have proposed viable low cost programs, informing both the City and

State of proposals that would greatly ameliorate the flood of illegally trafficked product into our state. None have been implemented-Why? We hope that you will support our efforts and we most welcome your inquiries and suggestions. An effort appropriate to the scope of this calamity must begin. [Arthur Katz, Executive Director: Cell 516-455-7809]

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