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