Spitzer's Dealers Tax.
Forum on His Future.
Ousted Artists Shiver.
READ MY NOSE: NO NEW TAXES
Governor Spitzer has proposed a new state tax on illegal drugs, including cocaine. The tax would be $200 per gram. It has generally been called the "crack tax", after a cheap and dangerous form of cocaine. The tax would also be imposed on marijuana, but at a lower rate, $3.50 per gram, which is about $98 per ounce. Since the levy would be imposed on both cocaine and marijuana, shouldn't it be called the "crack-pot tax"?
Under the plan, drug sellers would get a tax stamp from the State Department of Taxation and Finance, with the assurance that their information will not be given to the police. The law would enable the state to collect taxes from dealers who have been apprehended. Other states have variations of this proposed law, but they do not bring in enormous amounts of revenue. The bill would provide another charge that could be made against a dealer who has been caught. But taxing illegal activities is a dubious method either to collect revenue or to discourage crime.