In what can be considered a victory for hundreds of Pennsylvania vape shops, today the state’s House Finance Committee voted 19-4 to repeal a burdensome 40% wholesale tax on vapor products.
The tax on vapor products also applies to e-liquid sales and comes with an additional 40% retroactive levy on shop inventory, which is set to go into effect Saturday, with tax payments due 90 days later.
More than 400 vape shops currently operate within the state, and since the tax hike passed as part of the state budget earlier this year, pro-vaping advocates tell Fox News that more than 50 businesses have been forced to close.
While critical in furthering efforts to replace the troublesome tax legislation with a bill that would instead enforce a 5-cent-per-milliliter tax on e-liquid, today’s victory was a small one.
House Bill 2342, which was originally sponsored by Rep. Jeff Wheeland, a republican in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, still needs to pass through the full House and State Senate before landing on Governor Tom Wolf’s desk to be signed into law.
Senior policy analyst, Bob Dick, who works with the Commonwealth Foundation, an organization that champions free markets and limited government, told Fox that vape shop owners do not deserve to be taxed out of business to further enable Harrisburg’s overspending.
“It’s unconscionable that Harrisburg was willing to drive Pennsylvanians out of their businesses and out of their jobs for $13 million in revenue while at the same time handing out millions in state subsidies to multi-billion-dollar corporations like Amazon and Netflix,” Dick told Fox.
He added, “Today, the House Committee took a critical first step toward righting this injustice. We urge the full House to act swiftly to pass this legislation and send it to the Senate and, ultimately, to Governor Wolf for his signature before even more vape shops are forced to shutter their doors.”
For additional information on the evolution of this story be sure to check out our article “Pennsylvania Vape Shop Owners Protest 40% Tax Increase On Vapor Products.” And for today’s coverage, visit Fox News by clicking here.