Wisconsin Cigarette Tax Increase Days Away

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Wisconsin Cigarette Tax Increase Days Away

MADISON, Wis. -- In a move that will make Wisconsin home to the fifth highest cigarette tax in the nation, the state is set to increase its tax by 75 cents as of Sept. 1, to $2.52 per pack, according to a report by the Baraboo News Republic.

Convenience stores in the Baraboo area might have to brace for customers switching to Indian reservations or Internet sales—smokers can still get tax-free cigarettes at Whitetail Crossing & Smokeshop, located on Ho-Chunk Nation land near the casino, according to the report.

"I expect that we are going to be very busy," said Eddie Larrea, a worker at the smoke shop, who said an average pack of cigarettes at Whitetail costs between $2 and $4.

"We have unwittingly created a large and growing black market for smuggled tobacco products," said U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, a Democrat of New York, the chief sponsor of a bill passed by the House in May that allows tougher enforcement measures against contraband cigarette sales.

The bill, which passed 397-11, is especially aimed at Internet sales, with sellers on the Internet and others shipping to remote locations, which would have to verify the purchaser’s age and identity through accessible databases. However, the measure has not yet been considered by the Senate.

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