Patrick Fleenor holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Albion College and George Mason University, respectively. He is currently senior economist with the Tax Foundation and a principal with Fiscal Economics, an economics consulting firm in Washington, D.C. Fleenor is widely regarded as a national expert in excise taxation and cross-border smuggling. On May 7 of this year his Op-Ed, "Cigarette Taxes Are Fueling Organized Crime," appeared in The Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of excise-tax related studies including "How Excise Tax Differentials Affect Interstate Smuggling and Cross-Border Sales of Cigarettes in the United States." Fleenor's wide-ranging research has been cited in publications as diverse as the Economist, New York Times and USA Today. A Michigan native, Fleenor currently resides in Virginia with his wife and three children.

By Patrick Fleenor

Cigarette Taxes and Smuggling

In this study, the authors consider cigarette smuggling from two angles. First, they employ a statistical model to estimate the degree to which cigarette smuggling occurs in 47 of the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Second, they review the historical experiences of three states — Michigan, New Jersey and California — known to have problems with cigarette smuggling. The author's findings suggest that state policymakers should reassess the value of cigarette taxes as a revenue and public health tool. … more

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