Ammo For Sale

« « All things Uzi | Home | RINO Sightings 3 » »

The lucrative drug trade

It’s also lucrative for the state. The Tennessean reports:

Tennessee modeled its program to collect taxes on illegal drugs after North Carolina’s, but early returns indicate that the Volunteer State’s 6-month-old effort has been more successful.

A report released yesterday showed that Tennessee had collected about six times more taxes on controlled substances as did its neighbor to the east in its first six months. Substances taxed include cocaine, crack, methamphetamine and marijuana.

The 10-person unit of the Tennessee Department of Revenue reported that it had collected $606,687 and assessed more than $15 million. The department has spent $376,400 since the program began in January.

You regular readers knew that already. But it looks like the tax is finally getting some form of scrutiny in the press (even if it is toward the end of the article):

Despite Tennessee’s success with the new tax, some defense attorneys think that some people being taxed are not guilty of drug possession.

“I don’t have a problem with money being taken from people who are proven to be involved in some sort of illegal conduct,” said Erik Herbert, a Nashville defense attorney. “The issue that I have are these liens and monies being taken before it’s proven people have done anything wrong.”

Herbert represented Michael Garcia, who was ordered to pay $17,592 in taxes in April after being stopped as he followed a vehicle going through Springfield. Authorities said the other vehicle was carrying 10 pounds of marijuana, and police said they suspected that Garcia was running interference for a drug dealer.

Garcia was never arrested or charged.

Last week a state revenue department lawyer waived the assessment, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to prove Garcia possessed the drugs.

Herbert said Garcia probably isn’t the only innocent person who was assessed the tax.

Innocent or not, such a practice does not involve due process of law and is the abuse of a tax structure.

Comments are closed.