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Port: This is what North Dakota is avoiding by keeping tobacco taxes low

Mohammad Abdul Majid, left, and Iman Ugurlu have pleaded guilty to smuggling the largest load of untaxed tobacco in Minnesota history

A ballot initiative to implement a massive tax hike on tobacco products in North Dakota failed miserably last year. Nearly 62 percent of voters cast their ballots against it.

It’s a good thing, too, because there are problems attendant to high tobacco taxes which we should want to avoid. Case in point, Minnesota’s struggles with cigarette bootlegging.

The state, which as been ramping up enforcement in this area recently, just convicted two men for smuggling across state lines the largest load of illegal tobaccos officials there have ever seen.

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