Archive for March 19th, 2010

Whacked Hacks Backed Crack Tax

Friday, March 19th, 2010

The New York State budget has a huge deficit again – something like $9-billion dollars.  All the legislators are supposed to get it together, agree on the necessary cuts, and pass it before April 1st.  There’s a better chance they’ll play pick-up-sticks with their butt cheeks on the steps of the Capitol in Albany.

From the Governor on down, they’ve sung “fiscal crisis” so many times, most New Yorkers can dance to it.  At least the law makers aren’t as crazy as they were two years ago when they wanted to create a new tax on which they had no real hope of collecting: the drug tax.

The what tax?

You read that right, Binky, a tax on ‘controlled substances’ – drugs –  was actually in a 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 were a few small flaws in that brilliant plan. New Yorkers who buy cigarette tax stamps run legitimate businesses. Drug dealers don’t. Would dealers fill out tax paperwork answering questions like ‘annual income?’, ‘address?’, and ‘occupation’? Probably not; even though the tax people PROMISED not to give the information to law enforcement agencies – that’s ‘illegal’. Right. But dealers sell dope – they aren’t dopes. Maybe they could just slip money under the door of the Tax Department late at night and stamps could be passed back in plastic baggies.

The legislators who introduced this lunatic idea tried to make it look respectable by saying with the new tax, the state could fine dealers for tax evasion and take a bigger share of their busted booty.  Estimated 1st year revenue from this pipe dream? $12-million dollars.  Estimated start up costs? $75-million dollars.  The idea was quietly dropped.

I heart New York!