Yesterday was June 1, and all the new laws comprising the state budget went into effect, including several new taxes. After all, what better way to relieve a recession than by raising the cost of living and discouraging spending?
The state raised its share of the cigarette tax to $2.75 from $1.50. Combined with the city’s $1.50 a pack, these taxes are now $4.25 or 50% of the $8.50 average cost for a pack of smokes. But — all together now — it’s for you own good.
This week also marks the beginning of sales tax on purchases at Amazon.com and certain other online retailers. Overstock is pulling a virtual Atlas Shrugged and just dumping their New York affiliates, which constitute the retailers’ supposed “physical presence” in the state and thus the basis for charging a sales tax.
Personally, I suspect our legislators just hate readers.