Chicago Offers Citizens $100 to Tattle on Cigarette Tax Cheats. For the Children!

To hear the Windy City's public health department tell it, a new program that encourages residents to tattle on untaxed cigarettes sales is a virtuous attempt to protect the children. The program, which launched on Monday, will give $100 to each person who sings like a canary, but only if their tip results in the conviction of a retailer who is selling cigarettes without tacking on the required state, city, or county taxes.

But it's not about the money! It's about the kids, according to the city's health department commissioner, who says that "kids are the most price-sensitive consumers." Her logic:

If you lower the price of cigarettes, more kids will be able to afford it and purchase it.

The program, which also encourages people to report places that sell single cigarettes, is really about recouping some of that $7 million that Mayor Rahm Emanuel said his 50-cent tax increase on the sales of Chicago cigs would bring in.

The increase, implemented in January, earned Chicago the honor of having the priciest pack of sticks in the nation. Combining the federal, state, city, and county taxes, the total comes out to a whopping $7.17 per pack in money for the government. When you add in the how much producers and retailers charge to make a small profit, you're looking at about $12 a pack.

Emanuel and his city council are probably realizing what New York and Minnesota have already found out: raising the price of cigarettes only fuels the black market for them. According to the Tax Foundation, some 56.9 percent of cigarettes consumed in New York are smuggled in from other states.

Being surrounded by states that have significantly lower prices doesn't help the problem, either. As shown in a chart prepared by the foundation, Illinois is bordered by three states that have an outflow of smuggled cigarettes, while Illinois has an inflow of smuggled smokes, of course.

The Chicago city council should really read up on its mobster history. You would think a city that gave us the notorious, liquor-smuggling Al Capone would know a few things about tax evasion.

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  • Sigivald||

    "At their head, the motley tribe of fools. They lead in everything, carrying the keys, opening the doors, inventing phrases, wailing when they are wrong and assuring you that they would never have believed that this or that could happen."

    As much as I think Boyd Rice is a giant jerk and probably a not-all-that-closet Fascist, this lyric strikes me as appropriate every time for things like that.

    It's not like nobody could have told them that this was exactly what would happen.

  • LarryA||

    "But, but, this time we had the right people in charge."

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Can someone explain why anyone wants to live in Chicago? It makes New York City look like a paradigm of good, unintrusive government.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    It can be fun if you do not have kids and have a decent income... oh, and if you are really rich, naturally.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I liked going to school there, but even somewhat isolated from all that crap, I had a few moments of shock. They do whatever the fuck they want there.

  • Hyperion||

    Chicago is a crap hole, and the climate if horrifically bad. The only good thing there is the Field Museum, which puts all of the Smithsonian to shame.

  • Hyperion||

    IS

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's a great museum. As is the Art Institute. There are several other good museums there, and, at least when I lived there, they all had free days.

    Chicago is okay during the summer, and they have a lot of stuff going on at Grant Park, like Taste and the Blues Festival. Or they did--I'm just assuming all those things still exist.

  • ||

    Chicago despite being ran by the Democrats is a decent city but it's soon entering a world of pain. With crime rising and the city counsel once again proposing tax hikes to pay for the pension fund, the city is going to soon become a wasteland like Detroit. Even my proggie friends are moving to the burbs when they have children because that's how much they hate the city.

  • SIV||

    Free days... I paid $18 admission and $22 to park. $9 tolls round trip. I think free days are for Chi-town residents only.

  • db||

    I was at a family reunion last weekend when a distant second cousin explained to our table how amazing Chicago was, and how she.felt so.safe while.visiting there. I.nearly.fell out of my chair, but didn't want to be rude. Of course she is a teacher living in VA near DC and drives a sensible car with an Obama 2012 sticker.

  • Rhywun||

    I assume you are referring to winter. I'll take a Chicago winter over NYC summer any day.

  • SIV||

    The only good thing there is the Field Museum, which puts all of the Smithsonian to shame.

    The Field doesn't exactly suck but it lags far behind the Smithsonian and the AMNH. They have an excellent collection of Moche pottery and the dinosaur hall rocks.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Chicago was a great town when you could avoid the government. Richard M. Daley really ratcheted up the boot heel though and you can't even find one Appalachian in Uptown anymore.

  • ||

    Can someone explain why anyone wants to live in Chicago?

    Maybe you've never had deep dish pizza?

    Seriously, what part of 'free shit' do you not understand?

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    1.1% smuggled in IL - HA! I bet 2% comes across the IL-KY border every week alone. Get near Lawrenceville and you won't see that many tax stamps on the ol' coffin nail packs.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    AFAIK, it's only smuggling if you resell. Crossing state borders for a better deal is just good shopping.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    If you lower the price of cigarettes, more kids will be able to afford it and purchase it.

    Seriously? Even in progressive dystopias like Chicago a pack of cigarettes does not require a freaking payday loan to obtain. If anything increasing the price will probably result in smoking by kids, as a percentage, increasing due to normal people who have to pay bills and maintain a budget getting priced out.

  • Rhywun||

    I remember Ontario actually rolling back a draconian cigarette tax due to the smuggling. Ah, the 90s were a simpler time.

  • John||

    Can we please kill the myth that Democrats are socially liberal? There is more to being socially liberal than pot and gay sex.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Utilitarianism magically makes their puritanical obsession with saving society from its vices okay.

  • Hyperion||

    Of course there is, abortions.

  • ||

    pot

    John,

    I live in Washington state.

    You know, one of those states that legalized pot.

    Not one of those fucking democrats in state congress, in the governor's office in King county government or Seattle city council supported pot legalization.

  • Hyperion||

    This is what it is coming down to. The government coercing people into spying on and ratting out their neighbors. They've already did a pretty good job of creating enmity between races, financial classes, sexes, and anything else that they have found where enmity can be created.

    For the 2nd time today I will say, this is how the Nazis did it, our leaders have learned well.

  • John||

    You missed a step. First you have to create so many laws that millions of formerly law abiding people are now criminals.

  • Hyperion||

    They already accomplished that step.

  • Hyperion||

    And yet there are millions of proggies shrieking about congress doing nothing.

    What, they only passed 800 new laws this year? Congress, why can't you dooooo somethingg????!!!!!

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Sub-step is then to only apply and enforce those laws unpredictably to create a culture of fear of the governing class.

  • Hyperion||

    As well, be sure to send your goon squads around to randomly swat raid the wrong house in the middle of the night, shoot family pets, etc.

    Mission accomplished.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    The world today's progressives wish to create is more Kafka than Orwell.

    They've proven themselves to be far too incompetent and stupid to ever achieve the efficiency of Big Brother.

  • NoVAHockey||

    $100? The smugglers probably pay better.

    "instead of going to the city for your $100, how about you join the team and we'll expand"

  • db||

    "Instead of your daughter chained up at the bottom of Lake Michigan, how about you shut your.fucking trap?"

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Something like that could never happen in a city like Chicago.

  • John||

    So I heard the other day that Scarlett Johanson did a full frontal nude seen in a movie called Under the Skin IN 2013 and I hadn't heard about it. I depend on this board for news about such things and none of you homos ever mentioned it. Reason, you disappoint me.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Wait, what?

  • JTrigg||

    Here's another article today that further illustrates the nanny mentality of modern progressive Democrats.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....4947.story

    Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th, said there are about 10 stores selling "tobacco accessories" in the vicinity of Belmont Avenue and Clark Street. Tunney defined those items as including rolling papers, rolling machines and pipes, items that are sometimes used for smoking marijuana in addition to tobacco.

    Tunney has proposed an ordinance that would prohibit the city from issuing or renewing a license to sell tobacco to anyone who sells tobacco accessories who has a felony conviction in the past 5 years for selling drug paraphernalia. An earlier version of the ordinance would have barred anyone with a similar conviction dating back 10 years from holding a tobacco sales license.
    ...
    Asked whether he wants to use the ordinance to close some of the tobacco shops in the traditionally edgy but increasingly gentrified shopping area near the center of his ward south of Wrigleyville, Tunney said "I hope so."
    ...
    The ordinance would also require shops selling tobacco accessories to report to the city how much shelf space they devote to the products, and the percentage of their total sales that come from the accessories. Tunney said those new reporting requirements will help the city get a handle on what goes on in the stores.

  • Rhywun||

    OMFG ROLLING PAPERS!!!1!1!

  • ||

    The guy who owns the cigar shop I frequent is running against Tunney and while he is just as Progressive, I wouldn't mind him beating that prick Tunney if only to hear his supporters lose their shit. He won't lose though because it's rare that an incumbent alderman gets defeated in Chicago.

  • ||

    I was on the CTA today and saw the advertisement about this bullshit. I hate Cook County and Chicago so much.

  • harleyrider1778||

    The Führer thanks you from the grave:

    Hitler was a Leftist
    Hitler's Anti-Tobacco Campaign

    One particularly vile individual, Karl Astel -- upstanding president of Jena University, poisonous anti-Semite, euthanasia fanatic, SS officer, war criminal and tobacco-free Germany enthusiast -- liked to walk up to smokers and tear cigarettes from their unsuspecting mouths. (He committed suicide when the war ended, more through disappointment than fear of hanging.) It comes as little surprise to discover that the phrase "passive smoking" (Passivrauchen) was coined not by contemporary American admen, but by Fritz Lickint, the author of the magisterial 1100-page Tabak und Organismus ("Tobacco and the Organism"), which was produced in collaboration with the German AntiTobacco League.

    http://constitutionalistnc.tri.....t/id1.html

  • harleyrider1778||

    The new Tobacco Prohibition

    We all remember reading about alcohol prohibition,but did you know there was also tobacco prohibition going on before alcohol became such a target of the last nanny staters.
    Our great grandparents lived thru prohibition and the great depression,they also lived thru tobacco prohibition.

    Heres a time line starting in 1900,dont be surprised to see the same thing playing out today nearly 100 years later.

    1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. "Only Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books or were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity" (Dillow, 1981:10).

    1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children.

    1904: New York City. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. "You can't do that on Fifth Avenue," the arresting officer says.

    1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: "Business ... is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do."

    1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee.

    1937: hitler institutes laws against smoking.This one you can google.

  • harleyrider1778||

    Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

    These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

    So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ''SAFE LEVELS''

    OSHA SAFE LEVELS

    All this is in a small sealed room 9x20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

    "For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

    "Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    "For Hydroquinone, "only" 1250 cigarettes.

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

  • harleyrider1778||

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded." -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec'y, OSHA.

    Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

  • harleyrider1778||

    ROFLMAO WEVE TOTALLY DEFEATED THE NAZIS IN KENTUCKY NOW!

    Court overturns Bullitt smoking ban

    Three years into court proceedings, the Kentucky Supreme Court has issued a final ruling that overturns a smoking ban approved by the Bullitt County Board of Health.

    The board exceeded its authority, the court said, so the ban is invalid.

    Opponents and supporters of the smoking ban — which prohibited smoking in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants — argued their cases before the Kentucky Supreme Court in April. The hearing followed mixed rulings from Bullitt Circuit Court and the state Court of Appeals.

    The county board of health approved the ban in 2011. Board members argued that preventing health risks caused by secondhand smoke falls under its jurisdiction, as provided in a state law that allows it to adopt regulations “necessary to protect the health of the people.”


    http://www.courier-journal.com...../10885171/

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