Kicking the Habit, or Dodging Taxes?

The Tax Foundation reports that revenue from the federal tobacco tax is declining.

The same can be said of New Mexico’s levy on coffin nails. Here, in millions of dollars, are the sums the tax generated recently, and are predicted to yield in the future:

2011: 88.2

2012: 85.4

2013: 86.1

2014 (unaudited): 78.5

2015 (estimated): 79.0

2016 (estimated): 78.1

With a cigarette tax higher than the national average, and above the rates of Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado, it’s likely that evasion is a major contributor to New Mexico’s declining revenue. According to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Land of Enchantment is a top “inbound smuggling state”  — 46.1 percent of the smokes consumed here are contraband.