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

10 hours ago in Local

Whatcom County public defender says video conferencing in court is unfair

court mallot 2

Hall wrote about this for the Whatcom County bar association and hopes it can generate thoughtful discussion on the topic.

11 hours ago in Local

Operator of ‘sober’ housing arrested on gun, drug charges

police, jail, arrest, cops, sheriff

Investigators said they found about a pound of crystal methamphetamine.

11 hours ago in Local

Washington keeps moving toward new college savings plan

college

Nearly $164 million in refunds have been processed for Washington's prepaid tuition program since the state agency told people in they could ask for their money back.

12 hours ago in Local

Car slammed into moving Amtrak train

police lights

The Amtrak engineer didn't realize what happened until the train was 30 miles down the track.

12 hours ago in Local

State House passed a bill that makes contraceptive more accessible

birth control

Supporters say the law would help reduce missed doses and unintended pregnancie