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State Commission Probes Cigarette Smuggling In Mass.

 

 

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A special commission is trying to gauge the level of cigarette smuggling in Massachusetts and its cost in lost tax dollars.
 
    The 9-member Illegal Tobacco Commission is looking into a range of sources for illegal cigarettes, from individuals stuffing their car trunks to wholesale domestic and internationals bootlegging operations.
 
    Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter said the goal of the panel is to come up with recommendations on ways to crack down on the illegal activity.
 
    Estimates of the amount of revenue the state foregoes each year from people avoiding tobacco taxes range from $74 million to $295 million.
 
    The excise tax on cigarettes in Massachusetts increased by a dollar to $3.51 per pack earlier this year. Massachusetts now ranks second in the nation behind New York in tobacco taxes.
 
    The commission’s report is due March 1. (Associated Press)

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