Posted on January 8, 2014 · Posted In: ,

Howard Chernick Professor Emeritus of Economics

Using data about tax stamps obtained from random samples of littered packs of cigarettes, collected once before and three times after a June 2008 NYS tax increase, we find that baseline NYC tax avoidance is high relative to national estimates, that rates of avoidance are particularly high in neighborhoods with high levels of poverty, and in closer proximity to a nearby Native American reservation. The share of littered packs with no tax stamp increased from 15 to 24 percent after the tax increase. We find that in addition to the large increase in avoidance, consumption declined.