Spring Tax Watch Includes Five State-Wide Proposals
Dreaded tax season is here, and while our W2s, 1099s and deductions from 2018 pass through our households, there are some vaping taxes that pose an even more immediate threat.
We have four states looking to pass huge taxes on vaping products, and every call, letter and speech goes a long way to convincing legislators to not price vapers out of this life-saving product. Mark Meaney, lead senior staff attorney at the Public Health Law Center in Minnesota, told Tucson.com, “There’s been a significant interest in e-cigarette taxation this session.”
First we have Vermont, where the House has passed the bill that would place a whopping 92 percent excise tax on e-cigarettes. Vermont lawmakers are also looking at Tobacco 21 for purchase and internet sales this session. The bill heads to the Senate.
In Virginia, a bill is heading through channels that would tax e-cigarettes at 40 percent and allow localities to self-tax e-cigarettes. The bill is currently with the Joint Commission to Evaluate Tax Preferences after being denied earlier this session. It could, according to the Virginian-Pilot, rise again in 2020. A bill for Tobacco 21 is currently with the state’s General Assembly.
Hoosiers beware — taxation in Indiana is taking shape — and it’s a big one. HB1444 is with the Indiana General Assembly’s House Ways and Means Committee, and it would tax e-liquids that contain nicotine at 8 cents per milliliter. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that this rate “would be he highest among the states currently taxing by the unit.” Members of the Indiana Smoke Free Alliance are speaking up, and Amy Netherton, president, called the bill “unnecessary” and “premature” at the House Ways and Means Committee meeting earlier this month.
New Mexico officials are eyeing to increase taxes with SB166 that pertains to both cigarettes and e-liquids. KOB 4 reports that the proposal would tax an additional 5 cent tax per milliliter of e-liquid, amounting to approximately an extra $12.50 on 250 mL.
The Missoula Current reports that Montana could be looking at a 50 percent tax on vaping products with SB96. Last month 12 people testified against the bill, arguing that “e-cigarettes have nicotine, but they don’t have tobacco and shouldn’t be taxed like tobacco.” They also posed the argument that vaping products help adults quit smoking. Freedom Vapes owner Ron Marshall said, “Taxing a product that helps people? I don’t see a point in that.” Last November, a proposed 33 percent tax was rejected, so we’re hoping legislators heard the opponents loud and clear this time around.