If you think you’re in the wrong line of work, and barely making ends meet, maybe what you should be doing is running cigarettes north along the I-95 corridor, from Virginia to New York.
No, seriously – because some enterprising individuals have a lucrative sideline doing just that.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has even put an exact number on just how lucrative.
The ATF says smugglers could make $1,944,000 running just one truckload of cigarettes from a low-tax jurisdiction like Virginia to a high-tax jurisdiction like New York.
In Virginia, tax on a pack of smokes is just 30 cents, compared with a whopping $4.35 per pack in New York. New York City’s local tax is even higher, with $11 packs of Parliaments not at all uncommon.
Fully 24% of all cigarettes sold in Virginia are taken out of the Old Dominion to places with a less-favorable tax scheme.