NJ bills smokers for uncollected cigarette taxes

? The New Jersey Department of Treasury is hitting smokers who purchase cigarettes online with some hefty tax bills.

Hamilton Township resident Joseph Gulbinsky received a bill for $1,300 for tax-free cigarettes he purchased on the Internet. Gulbinsky, a retiree who started smoking when a pack sold for a quarter, says he turned to the Web to avoid the $2.40 in taxes that the state imposes. He says he did what any smoker would do and he questions the Department of Treasury?s method to collect the money. The department says it got New Jersey residents? names after demanding the sales records of one Internet cigarette seller and expects to collect about $13 million dollars in unpaid taxes.

The state?s ban on indoor smoking goes into effect next month.

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