State official says cigarette tax enforcement works, arrests down - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

State official says cigarette tax enforcement works, arrests down

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee's top tax collector says border enforcement of the newly increased cigarette tax is working.

Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr says a surveillance program has driven down the number of people going across state lines to bring in smokes that cost less.

Cigarette taxes are lower in all eight states that border Tennessee, now that the Legislature tripled the levy to 62 cents per pack.

But the enforcement program has been sharply criticized by Republican state Rep. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville, who says it's being compared to Gestapo tactics.

Agents stake out tobacco outlets along borders and contact officers who then arrest people coming into the state with more than two cartons of cigarettes.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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