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New York had the highest number of smuggled cigarettes in 2011 — about 61 percent of the total market. New York also has the nation’s highest state cigarette tax at $4.35 per pack, plus another $1.50 levied in New York City.
In Washington, the smuggling is running faster than enforcement officers can keep up.
“There’s more out there than we find,” Mittman said.
When asked if Washignton should lower its tax, Mittman said, “the disparity of the taxes adds to the problem.” But he added it would help if Oregon and Idaho raised their taxes because he doesn’t see Washington moving toward a decrease.
Oregon lawmakers considered legislation that would have raised the tax anywhere from 10 cents to $1 a pack but it failed as part of a larger revenue bill that Republicans andDemocrats couldn’t agree upon.
This article originally appeared on Watchdog.org.