AN URGENT call to vapers has gone out to help stop a 60 per cent tax on vaping products.
The “crippling” added cost to both sellers and vapers proposed for Washington State is a moneymaking scheme exploiting the entire vaping community, according to CASAA (Consumer Advocates For Smoke-Free Alternatives Association), who is calling for action to stop it.
Opposers to the tax, from vapers to vape business owners, are now being urged to get in touch with local lawmakers ahead of the bill’s hearing in the capitol.
If passed, HB 2165, which is larger than the Pennsylvania 40 per cent tax which shutdown over 100 businesses in 2016, could cripple or kill off most vape shops and e-liquid manufacturers in the state.
The 60 per cent tax would also hit all sides in the sale of vaping products with it being paid by distributors when purchasing wholesale from manufacturers and directly by the consumers with products purchased online.
The authors of the bill admit they need money from smoke-free vapor products to make up for the revenue the state will lose from 18 to 20-year-old smokers following the Tobacco 21 legislation, which will push the minimum age of buying cigarettes to 21.
“This bill…contains an admission that this tax is all about the money. HB 2165 is a prerequisite for passing Tobacco 21 legislation (another half-baked policy movement) because Washington will need to make up the lost tax revenue from cigarette sales if the minimum age to purchase is raised to 21.
“A similar tax of 40% has wiped out over 100 retailers in Pennsylvania. Imagine what a 60% tax will do to Washington,” non-profit organization CASAA said in a statement on its website.
Washington vapers have been fighting off tax proposals for several years already with negative consequences. Last year mod pioneer ProVape closed for good while in 2015, e-liquid giant Mt. Baker Vapor moved from Washington to Arizona.