As taxes go up the black market flourishes

Stuff reports:

The lucrative tobacco black market continues to fuel dairy and service stations burglaries in Canterbury with police investigating several new thefts.

A BP station in Sawyers Arms Rd, Bishopdale, and Z Waikuku in North Canterbury have both been broken in to in the past few days. 

Offenders entered the stores and targeted several items including cigarettes and cash.

There was a single offender in each incident and no weapons were involved. Both service stations were closed at the time. 

In August, it was revealed there had been several dairy robberies thought to be connected to the tobacco black market. 

Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Ford said at the time that he believed many of the robbers were stealing to order rather than for personal use.

“[Tobacco] is a very valuable commodity. They [the robbers] are taking as much as they can.”

Increasing excise tax on tobacco has overall been a positive move, as smoking rates drop. However there is a limit to how far you can go before the adverse effects of the higher taxes overwhelm the benefits. Just taxing the supply, while there is still considerable demand, does benefit the black market. We saw the same with prohibition of alcohol in the 1930s.

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