Increasing cigarette sales on West Virginia / Maryland border
Cigarette Sales at stores on Maryland border have boomed ever since the tobacco tax increase in Maryland.
On July 1, the Maryland tax went up by 30 cents to 66 cents a pack. West Virginia's tax is 17 cents a pack. Customers take advantage of these tax savings by making their purchases from stores in West Virginia.
"Our sales have tripled," said Sean Hagenbuch of Hages Market, echoing the comments of other cigarette retailers.
Maryland law bars residents from importing more than two packs of cigarettes. Maryland residents who buy cartons of cigarettes in West Virginia are breaking the state's laws. Maryland authorities say they do not target casual smokers as much as those looking to profit from the tax difference by bootlegging.