Baltimore City Council wants to place a tax on e-cigarettes as a way to boost revenue as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the city’s economy.
Council President Brandon Scott introduced a bill Monday night to establish a 30 percent excise tax on the distribution of electronic smoking devices, including e-cigarettes, e-hookahs and vape pens. He says the move would also discourage smoking, according to an article in The Baltimore Sun.
“We have to be sure we are treating these kinds of devices like we treat regular cigarettes,” said Scott, who is the Democratic nominee for mayor.
Scott said it’s essential to look for new revenue streams. The pandemic has hammered Baltimore’s economy, forcing the city to withdraw up to $25 million from its Rainy Day Fund.
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The finance department will perform an analysis to determine how much the tax could bring in.
The council’s taxation and finance committee, chaired by Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton, will consider the bill.