TN Tobacco Tax Enforcers Confiscate Cars for $13.02
Since the Tennessee state gov'mint raised cigarette tax from .20 to .62 a pack, death sticks costs less across state lines. So thousands of financially-challenged (or just plain cheap) Volunteer State nicotine addicts have done the sensible thing: jump into their car, cross the border, buy some fags and drive home. Thenewspaper.com reports that the Volunteer State has launched the kind of enforcement crackdown that child protection advocates dream about. Not only do TN revenuers surveil legal tobacco stores in other states (e.g. Kentucky), they also confiscate the cars of tobacco runners for as little as two-and-a-bit cartons of illegal smokes or 51 cigars ($13.02 in lost tax). Should the itinerant coffin nail carriers evade $155.62 in cigarette taxes they're guilty of a felony. In addition to losing their wheels, they're looking at six years in prison and an additional $3000 fine. Thenewspaper.com follows the money. "Seized vehicles are sold with 90 percent of the profit going into the state general fund, and 10 percent into the revenue department's own budget. The tax program is designed to raise $228 million." And piss off a whole lot of people.