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March 6th, 2009 by flanews

Florida convenient store owners and some wholesalers say raising the cigarette tax would cut their business and lead to layoffs.

The groups held a new conference at the state Capitol Friday protesting a bill to raise the cigarette tax a dollar. They say the increase would lead to more cigarette smuggling, because surrounding states have a much lower tax. Michael Lafaive, a researcher for the Mackinac Center in Michigan, said if the tax goes up, so will organized crime.

Organized crime is probably salivating. The mobsters are probably salivating, for the next state excise tax increase. Theyve made a fortune on the East Coast trafficking cigarettes. In fact Teflon Don John Gottis very first arrest in New Jersey was for hijacking a semi-tractor trailer load of cigarettes, said Lafaive.

Right now about seven percent of all cigarettes sold in Florida were brought into the state illegally. Lafaive said if the tax is raised, the percentage would be closer to 25 percent.

Posted in Criminal Justice, Health, Highways, State Budget, State News, Taxes | No Comments »

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