San Nicolas moves to end cigarette smuggling on Guam

October 15, 2019
Press Release

Guam's delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives has introduced legislation that would put the collection of Guam’s cigarette taxes and the fight against cigarette smuggling on Guam under federal control.

After more than a year in which a local law mandating cigarette tax stamps has not been implemented, Del. Michael San Nicolas announced on Monday he has introduced H.R. 4365 "to assert federal authority over cigarette smuggling on Guam."

H.R. 4635 amends Title 18 of the U.S. Criminal Code to include Guam under federal jurisdiction for cigarette enforcement.

Since Guam increased its tobacco tax by 200% in 2010, local numbers have indicated that, every three years, at least 98 million cigarettes on island go untaxed, amounting to a loss to the people of Guam of approximately $14.6 million, the legislation states.

San Nicolas stated when he was a Guam senator, he passed local law mandating tax stamps "to end apparent tax evasion and cigarette smuggling on Guam; however, this local law remains unenforced, and the people of Guam do not deserve to be shortchanged by a failure to enforce local law." 

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