Commission To Study Black Market Tobacco Trade In Massachusetts
Massachusetts has formed a commission to investigate tobacco smuggling.
Department of Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter says the nine-member commission will seek to identify the various forms of tobacco smuggling and determine how much it is costing Massachusetts in lost taxes.
Pitter says its estimated 20 percent of the cigarettes smoked in Massachusetts are purchased on the black market, which translates to a loss of $120 million dollars a year in tobacco taxes. Massachusetts raised its cigarette tax by a $1-a-pack in July making the state an even more attractive market for smugglers. The commission, which holds its first meeting Monday includes representatives from law enforcement, the legislature, and convenience stores.