|New York State cigarette taxes are the highest. Map from|
the Tax Foundation.
This is according to the Washington-based Tax Foundation, which describes itself as non-partisan.
That it may well be. The Tax Foundation, I can confidently assert, is anti-tax, and distaste for taxes is bipartisan.
However, the cigarette tax poses a problem for anti-taxers. It's a Pigou-approved tax. It's a tax on something that is bad for your health, and consequently bad for the productivity and longevity of the public.
The Tax Foundation argues against the tax on the basis that it creates incentives for people in New York State to buy their cigarettes out of state and increases the cost of enforcement.
On the other hand, it still brings in good revenue and cuts down on the cost of health care spending for those affected by smoking by making it harder for teenagers to start smoking.
Meanwhile, more enforcement of the New York cigarette tax laws would more than pay for itself...