With tax increases on cigarettes, come new efforts to evade them… So says John Chiang, state Board of Equalization member. “We had cigarettes coming in from China and elsewhere, Latin America, Central America…”
He says enforcement efforts this year have helped bring in 125-million dollars of products and sales taxes. Chiang says much of the tax money goes to support several programs, including childhood development and others. “Some of the money goes to the breast cancer fund, used to provide mammograms and clinical breast exams for low income women.”
The new enforcement efforts include a high-tech tax stamp placed on cigarette packs to indicate the 87-cent excise tax was paid. State estimates show nearly 300-million dollars is lost annually from cigarette tax evasion.