Virginia takes its fight against Tobacco and Terrorism One Step Ahead!
A State report linking cigarette smuggling revenue and terrorists outfits has ruffled quite a few feathers in the Virginia Senate. The state has long been a haven for smokers with the lowest taxes on tobacco goods, including cigarettes. The difference is about $3 on a carton of cigarettes when you compare the pricing in Virginia vis à vis that in NY.
While this may not seem like too much of an impetus to smuggle tobacco products to the neighboring state, a car full of cigarette carton could earn the smuggler more than $33,000 in profits. And, this is what is apparently funding terrorist activity across the country.
At this point, there are no state licensing requirements for wholesalers or retailers of tobacco goods. However, if this bill is passed, wholesalers would have to shell out $750 for three years while retailers would end up paying $150 per annum for a state permit to sell tobacco goods. They would also be subjected to a criminal background check when they apply for the license.
The bill tabled by a Republican senator has cleared the senate but it still faces an uphill battle in the house since legislators are concerned about increasing the burden of taxes and regulations on the retail community. Even the more moderate senators stand against it for now