Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Creeping Statism Watch

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg got a nice pay day.

In a New York Times Article published today, it is reported that just yesterday New York City announced a settlement with an online cigarette vendor that will allow the city to pursue residents for up to $33 million in unpaid excise taxes.

"A 2000 New York state law banned direct sales of cigarettes over the Internet and by telephone or mail. Tobacco companies challenged the ban, but a federal appellate court upheld it in February 2003." So, they have done a pretty good job of creating the black market and then taxing the hell out of it!

First tax, then ban and outlaw, then tax some more. New York City, with the help of Bloomberg already has a ban on smoking in any public facility, which aptly includes private businesses, bars, restaurants, and anything else. A little more on the taxes:

In a separate effort, Mr. Bloomberg has urged the state to raise the city's share of the state cigarette tax to $2 from $1.50 per pack. Smokers also pay $1.50 in state tax.

That's paternalism at its best. And paternalism pays pretty handsomely.

More on Creeping Statism and the Watch.

You couldn't pay me to live in New York City. No wonder most people live in NJ and commute.

It won't be long before the smell of tobacco smoke is inextricably labeled (in my mind, at least) as "the smell of freedom."
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