So after Bloomberg pushed through the huge cigarette tax a few years ago — this was before he pushed through the smoking-in-bars ban, that brief window when enjoying the delicious nicotine rush of lung destruction was merely expensive but not yet inconvenient — you thought you'd be clever and start ordering your smokes online. Hell with eight bucks at Duane Reade, you figured, you could save a fortune by getting your Camel Lights shipped in from out of state. Or so you thought. According to the News:
A deal with an Internet cigarette peddler could make 12,500 city smokers cough up $33 million in unpaid sales tax, city officials said yesterday.
A Virginia-based company, eSmokes Inc., agreed to settle a city suit by giving up detailed information on untaxed cigarette sales it made to city residents between 2002 and 2003.
If our math is right, that's $2,640 per person. Lovely.