Thursday, January 28, 2010

Supreme Court rules against NYC in internet cig sales

I'd like to think if it's illegal for one state to collect taxes from online cig sales, then it's illegal to say people can't buy cigs online period (ala, the PACT Act).3

Trying to collect tobacco taxes from online cig sales (as well as the PACT Act itself) is all about greed, As long as youbuy tobacco offline, do you think politicians give a sh!t about your health?

If a politician doesn't care about what smoking does to me he/she also shouldn't care where I buy my cigs. And BTW, smoking hasn't done anythang to my clear lungs!


http://online. BT-CO-20100125- 709969.html? mod=WSJ_latesthe adlines

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that New York City could not use federal racketeering laws to sue out-of-state Internet tobacco retailers that don't file reports on city residents who buy cigarettes online.

The city wants the reports so it can collect cigarette taxes directly from residents who purchased tobacco products online. The retailers are not required to collect the taxes.

The case before the high court centered on New York's allegations that New Mexico-based online retailer Hemi Group committed racketeering offenses of mail and wire fraud by allegedly failing to submit reports on its New York City customers to state tobacco administrators. The city, which said it lost millions of dollars in cigarette tax revenues, said federal law required Hemi to submit the reports.

But the Supreme Court, in a 5-3 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, ruled that the relationship between Hemi's alleged actions and the city's inability to collect taxes was too indirect to establish racketeering liability against the online retailer.

Roberts said the direct cause of the alleged fraud against the city was not Hemi's conduct, but the refusal of residents to pay their taxes for online cigarette purchases. "The city, therefore, has no RICO claim," Roberts wrote.

Justice Stephen Breyer said in dissent that the city made a sufficient racketeering connection to Hemi's alleged conduct. Had Hemi filed the reports, the state would have been able to obtain a significant share of the taxes it was owed, Breyer said.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor did not participate in the case because she had participated previously as an appellate judge when the case was before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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