Queens lawmakers had some choice words for what might be considered the most unusual cash-generating idea in the governor’s budget proposal: a tax on illegal drugs.
Spitzer’s Illicit Drug Tax Puzzles Queens Politicians
“I think it’s an absurd idea,” said state Sen. Frank Padavan of Bellerose. “When you tax something, you assume that it’s legal to have it.”
Padavan was incensed at the idea of taxing illicit drugs, a proposal that’s been dubbed the “Crack Tax,” by its opponents.
The tax would essentially be a stamp program, requiring drug dealers to come forward and buy a stamp for any controlled substance, including marijuana and cocaine, with the price increasing depending on the relative street price of the drug.
Marijuana stamps would cost $3.50 per gram, while more expensive controlled substance stamps would go for $200 per gram.
“The tax is paid by the dealer, in advance of his or her receipt of the marihuana (sic) or controlled substance,” the proposal states. “Upon receipt of the product, the dealer must affix enough stamps to the packages of marihuana or the controlled substance in order to show the tax has been fully paid.”