Well, we knew this was coming. Back in November, the city of New York filed a lawsuit against Island Smokes for avoiding the state’s high cigarette tax by allowing customers to roll their own tobacco in-store.
While selling loose tobacco and not paying the cigarette tax isn’t illegal, the lawyer for the city’s corporation council affirmative litigation division, Eric Proshansky, declared that by helping patrons make their own cigs in the establishments, the stores were allowing people to leave with a finished product and thus circumventing the tax. So the question was: is a cigarette indeed more than the sum of its part?
Apparently so, since the city has decided to go after two more shops. Today the New York City Corporation Counsel and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman launched a joint filing against tobacco stores BB’s Corner n Brooklyn and Nitecap Entertainment on Staten Island, for violating “the Federal Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act, the New York State Cigarette Marketing Standards Act, and New York State tax law.” Read More