Archive for August 27th, 2008

Whacked Hacks Back Crack Tax

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008


Nelson Rockefeller was Governor, I was a kid, and New York passed its first ‘sales tax’. I remember it was only a cent or two on a dollar and it was dubbed the ‘hot dog tax’ because you’d have to pay an additional penny for a ball park weiner. We thought it was funny at first.  But in time, New York would not only wildly boost its sales tax, and mandate countless new taxes, now it’s even trying to create a new tax on which it has no hope of actually collecting: the drug tax.

The what tax?

You read that right, Binky, a tax on ‘controlled substances’ – drugs – is in the NYS budget proposal. The state would issue drug stamps just as they do today with cigarette stamps. The proposed tax would be $3.50 on an ounce of marijuana and $200.00/oz. on stronger drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

There may be a few small flaws in this brilliant plan. New Yorkers who buy cigarette tax stamps run legitimate businesses. Drug dealers don’t. Will dealers fill out tax paperwork answering questions like ‘annual income?’, ‘address?’, and ‘occupation’? Probably not; even though the tax people PROMISE not to give the information to law enforcement agencies – that’s ‘illegal.’ Right. But dealers sell dope – they aren’t dopes. Maybe they can just slip money under the door of the Tax Department late at night and stamps will be passed back in plastic baggies.

So why even bother with this nonsense?

One reason is New York would get to take a slice of the dealers confiscated post-bust loot. Maybe.

Maybe?

Yeh, well there’s kind of a line for the money now. Confiscated drug money gets divvied up between different agencies in the federal government and local law enforcement people. They squabble all the time; so what’s one more ‘Gimme, gimme!’ voice?

Estimated revenue in the first year? $12-million. Start up costs? About $75-million.

I heart New York!
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UPDATE:
In April of this year, the NYS Legislature passed the 2008-2009 Budget which DID NOT include the “crack tax” on drug dealers. But stay tuned.