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TAX STAMPS ON ILLEGAL DRUGS NOT POPULAR

By Alfa, Mar 12, 2005 | | |
  1. Alfa
    TAX STAMPS ON ILLEGAL DRUGS NOT POPULAR


    CHATTANOOGA - Tennessee's 2-month-old tax on illegal drugs has generated about $100,000 of $5 million assessed by state revenue officials. As expected, the tax stamps are not big sellers.


    In fact, officials said nobody involved with illegal drugs or unstamped liquor has taken time to get the required stamps on packages used for their products.


    =09 "We haven't had anybody to date," said Al Laney, director of revenue enforcement in the Tennessee Department of Revenue. "To tell you the truth, we don't expect anybody to (ask for a stamp). But we have to afford the taxpayer the opportunity to voluntarily pay."


    He said if the stamps are "affixed to drug packaging, the department will not come out and assess you a tax."


    Laney said the state has assessed about $5 million and collected about $100,000 since Jan. 4. The investigating agency in a case gets 75 percent of the tax collected.


    He said people involved with illegal drugs have no reason to worry about being turned in if they buy the stamps. He said buyers are not asked their names, just what kind of drugs are involved.


    "It becomes confidential taxpayer information," Laney said. "By law we cannot divulge any information."


    Laney said Tennessee's Unauthorized Substance Tax, levied per gram, is $3.50 on marijuana, $200 on methamphetamine and $50 on cocaine.


    Sequatchie County Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock said his office is in line to get $4,200 from a marijuana bust.


    "If you have drugs, the dealer is supposed to have a stamp from the state affixed to it," Hitchcock said. "He didn't."


    In McMinn County, deputies and Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested two New York men after finding 8 kilograms of cocaine in their car on Interstate 75. Officials said the street value of the cocaine is about $800,000, so the potential tax liability is $400,000.

Comments

  1. marmar
    SWIM has been reading a lot about MJ tax stamps in Idaho.

    SWIM is thinking about applying for some.

    If someone were to purchase these tax stamps, should the feds be expected to show up at the stamp holders doorstep?
  2. Psych0naut
    In the Netherlands, coffeeshops also have to pay taxes over any cannabis or hashish they sell. You can imagine how much money the Dutch goverment makes from us!
  3. Terrapinzflyer

    To be clear here- Tax stamps on illegal drugs in the US do nothing to change its legal status- at either the state or federal level. They were enacted as an enforcement tool - if one gets busted with illegal drugs w/o the tax stamp then one can be charged with tax evasion as well as illegal drugs. Get busted with the tax stamp then one is just charged with the illegal drugs.

    If memory serves this started back in the Reagan era, and are rarely used. Remember seeing an article a while back regarding one of the states that issue them, and they said it was solely a financial tool- they sold 90%+ of the stamps to collectors out of state and rarely if ever charged cases related to lack of tax stamps.
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