Small business owners and smoke-free advocates flooded the State Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Monday to protest a 40% wholesale tax on vapor products.
This tax, which includes e-liquid, passed as part of the Pennsylvania state budget, and since then vape advocates say that of the 400 plus vape shops in the state, more than 50 were forced to shut their doors in the midst of what several called “unfair policies.”
Amid the vitriol and outrage that permeated through the air at the hearing, the voice of reason seemed to come from Representative Jeff Wheeland, a Republican in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives who represents the state’s 83rd Legislative District.
Rep. Wheeland questioned the nature of the tax increase and is sponsoring House Bill 2342, which offers a compromise for tense businesses in the form of a five-cent levy per milliliter of e-liquid sold in-store. So far the bill has 60 co-sponsors and its passage seems possible.
However, there are just a few days remaining in the fall legislative session, so supporters of the bill hope that the tax reform will pass before the House breaks until its next session.
Watch the ABC affiliate broadcast on this issue and read more about it here.