Nine months ago New York state joined New York City in a lawsuit against FedEx for un-taxed cigarettes, stating in the amended complaint that FedEx shipped nearly 400,000 cartons of un-stamped cigarettes to homes in the state.
They believed they were being deprived of tax revenue money by FedEx, according to the video report by Kori Hale from Wall Street. Furthermore the amounts of estimated lost tax revenue were apparently at least $15 on each carton. The suit sought $239 million in damages and penalties.
‘We put our police in a difficult situation with bad laws’
From one article found on the Salon website, it seems writer Joan Walsh believes Senator Rand Paul’s recent remarks on the situation in New York, with the death of Eric Garner who maybe was selling loose cigarettes and the Staten Island grand jury which declined to indict an officer, will adversely impact his career aspirations.
She quotes his remarks on an MSNBC interview:
“Well you know I think it’s hard not to watch that video of him saying ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’ and not be horrified by it. But I think there’s something bigger than the individual circumstances. Obviously, the individual circumstances are important. But I think it is also important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes so that driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive. But then some politician also had to direct the police to say, ‘hey we want you arresting people for selling a loose cigarette.’ And for someone to die over breaking that law, there really is no excuse for it. But I do blame the politicians. We put our police in a difficult situation with bad laws.”
The attempted arrest and subsequent death of Eric Garner in New York as well as the ensuing grand-jury decision, according to former President George Bush who was interviewed on CNN’s State of the Union and reported on by the WashingtonPost, was sad. Said Bush, regarding protests of the decision:
“… but it’s sad that race continues to play such a, you know, a kind of emotional, divisive part of life.”
‘law enforcement’s job is to protect everybody’
A discussion with Condoleeza Rice, his former secretary of state, and her perspective helped him understand the issue.
Rice, who is black, in a recent dinner with Bush is quoted by the ex-President:
“And she said, ‘You’ve just got to understand, there’s just a lot of black folks around who are incredibly — more and more — distrusting of law enforcement,’” Bush said. “Which is a shame because law enforcement’s job is to protect everybody.”
Here in Vista, recent elections just put in a new city councilman who was concerned, according to a campaign flyer, about the red-light cameras being used by the city to generate money. In a story on Examiner last April, with the headline Red light cameras and safety: fyi Vista gets $150 on every $485 citation, the extension of an agreement between the City of Vista and Redflex Traffic Systems drew numerous questions from Councilmember Amanda Rigby. In her observations, she mentioned the fact that it costs the city of Vista about “$305,964 per year to run the red light camera program,” and of the fine amount, Rigby stated, the majority of it went to ATT.
Lost tax revenue
What local government fixates on is having enough revenue to fund everything it must fund. Sometimes, what they maybe don’t understand, is that a $485 citation may mean someone who only nets $1,000 per month cannot afford their share of mortgage or rent that month.
Most folks, I believe, could understand the point being made by the Senator that when politicians pass a law, then law enforcement is authorized to enforce it. The video seen of the Eric Garner incident, however, had some folks asking why send so many officers for this arrest when Garner seemed to be polite and obedient to their demands.
The fact seems to be, nine months ago New York state joined New York City in a lawsuit against FedEx over lost tax revenue.