Monday, October 22, 2007

It was all a bluff?? An intimidation tactic?


Nashville (AP) - A new focus on enforcing the state's law on how many cigarettes can be brought into Tennessee does not involve any increased spending by the Department of Revenue.

The lack of new funding or staffing for the increased cigarette tax enforcement was revealed through a records request by Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a conservative think tank.

Drew Johnson, the think tank's president, said he considers the enforcement program to be an elaborate ruse to scare consumers.

"They're bluffing because they know this program is completely unconstitutional, and if they were actually arresting people it would be overturned," he said. "So it's better to scare people into not crossing the border to buy cigarettes instead of actually enforcing the program."

Revenue spokeswoman Sophie Moery said that the department is flexible enough to shift its attention without neglecting other enforcement areas.