Appeals Court Finds Tennessee "Crack Tax" Unconstitutional

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The state Court of Appeals has ruled that Tennessee's tax on illegal drugs is unconstitutional.

The levy known as the "crack tax" allows the state to confiscate belongings of people who haven't bought tax stamps for controlled substances, including cocaine, crack, methamphetamine and marijuana and moonshine.

The appeals court ruled that the state can't require a tax on items it considers illegal. The opinion called the drug tax "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable."

The ruling upholds a lower court's decision. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Revenue did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Tennessee collected $1.8 million from the tax in 2006.


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