News

Tax watchdog says nearly half of Wash. cigarettes are black market

Tax watchdog says nearly half of Wash. cigarettes are black market

Photo: clipart.com

KGMI News Reporting
By Mike Curtiss

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A tax watchdog group says odds are nearly one-in-two cigarette packs bought in Washington State come from the black market.

The Tax Foundation’s new report finds that 48 percent of the cigarettes in Washington are illegally smuggled in from other states.

Economist Scott Drenkard with the Tax Foundation claims high cigarette taxes are the problem.

Play Scott Drenkard on cigarette smuggling

He says criminals are buying cigarettes in low-tax states and selling them in high-tax states like Washington.

The tax on a pack of cigarettes is more than $3 in Washington, but in Idaho it’s only 57-cents per pack.

Play Scott Drenkard on low tax states

Drenkard says his organization believes cigarette tax rates need to come down to reduce smuggling.

Recent Headlines

2 days ago in Local

18yo arrested on suspicion of abandoning son in Everett dumpster

baby

Police got a tip this week that she had been pregnant and then appeared not to be pregnant anymore, refusing to talk about what happened.

2 days ago in Local

Ulta Beauty and Sephora coming to Bellingham

beauty products

Ulta Beauty is setting up shop next to Abercrombie and Fitch in the Bellis Fair Mall, and Sephora will be opening in JC Penny.

2 days ago in Local

National pharmaceutical company forced to pay state $23 million

pharmacy

The State Attorney General says drug-maker Wyeth, which is owned by Pfizer, underpaid Medicaid.

3 days ago in Local

Bellingham man is sentenced to nine months for rape

prison

it could have been much longer.

3 days ago in Local

A rental scam to watch out for in Whatcom County

rent graphic

The scammer was obviously hoping to get money before the renters learned it was a scam.