Illinois, Maine, Other States Top Vaping Tax News
Vapers in Illinois have officially lost out, as Governor JB Pritzker put the nail in the state’s e-cigarette tax coffin. As of July 1, HB 690 took effect, which added a 15% wholesale tax on e-cigarettes.
If you’re a vaper from Oregon, HB2270 one to watch as a voting member of your state. The state’s Senate and House have voted to put a proposed tobacco tax on November’s 2020 general election ballot. The voters will decide on if the first tax state on e-cigarettes should be imposed — a whopping 65% of wholesale price.
Maine’s voters didn’t have a chance to participate on their new vaping tax, as state lawmakers have moved a bill taxing e-cigarettes and liquids. “Tobacco products” other than cigarettes will go from 20% to 43% of the wholesale price beginning Jan 2. Additionally, e-cigarettes and liquids were added to the definition of tobacco products under the new law.
The battle is on in New Jersey, as both state legislative houses passed an exemption for container e-liquid from the liquid nicotine tax signed into law last year by Governor Phil Murphy, reports Insider NJ. Anti-tobacco groups are upset, calling the move “a short sighted and dangerous exemption.” They are asking for a veto of the exemption. Additionally, Assembly Bill 5385 would further define e-liquid containers as “a container of liquid nicotine or other liquid where the liquid is intended for use in electronic smoking devices.” It does not include “prefilled containers where the container is intended for use in an electronic smoking device (e.g cartridges).” If passed, a 10% tax would apply to container e-liquids and remove the existing 10 cents per mL wholesale tax. Heartland.org says that e-cigs and vaping devices “can actually reduce smoking-related health care costs. One analysis found that if all Medicaid recipients who smoke switched to e-cigarettes, state Medicaid programs would have saved $48 billion in 2012.” The editorial went on to say that “although AB5385 recognizes different types of electronic cigarette products, it ignores public health. E-cigarettes have emerged as one of the most effective tools to help smokers quit and lawmakers should promote their use instead of enacting unnecessary and counterproductive sin taxes on them.”
Massachusetts vape shop owners are asking state lawmakers to nix a proposed vaping tax, stating that is would be detrimental for harm reduction and smokers trying to quit. The proposed tax would be a huge 75% excise on the wholesale price of e-cigarettes.
Finally, we move to Ohio, where the state Senate has proposed a 17% tax on the invoice price of vaping products. WCPO Cincinnati reports that vaping groups obviously oppose the tax, stating that the taxation treats vaping products “too similarly to cigarettes and other tobacco products.” James Jarvis, president of the Ohio Vapor Trade Association, told the news station that vaping products aren’t tobacco. “It doesn't make sense to fit vaping into the same tax framework as the tobacco industry.” Vapor products in the state are currently taxed from about 5.75 to 8% sales tax. A hike in cigarette taxes, ironically, isn’t being considered in the current proposal.