State of the State 2020: Stronger penalties for untaxed cigarette sales
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, as part of his rollout of 2020 State of the State agenda items, is proposing stricter penalties for retailers that illegally sell untaxed cigarettes and tobacco products.
Under the governor’s proposal, stores would face possible closure or the loss of lottery or liquor licenses if they illegally sell those products. New York has the second-highest cigarette tax rate in the United States, prompting some retailers to go off-market to make easy profits, according to a release from Cuomo’s office.
Cuomo also hopes to increase the minimum fines for retailers that sell tobacco products to people under 21 years old.
“Trafficking untaxed cigarettes and selling tobacco to underage people isn’t just unethical – it’s also illegal,” Cuomo said in a release. “Cigarettes claim thousands of lives each year, and we will not turn a blind eye to retailers who deliberately flout the law just to make an extra buck at the expense of the health of New Yorkers.”