Beginning this weekend, vape shop patrons throughout Pennsylvania will need to dig a little deeper into their wallets at checkout.
Included in a state budget plan passed earlier this year was language holding PA vape shops to a 40% tax increase on all vapor products sold, along with a 40% retroactive levy on all shop inventory.
The tax hike officially went into effect Saturday, Oct. 1, much to the dismay of the shops owners and store employees that make up more than 400 shops spread throughout greater PA.
Despite the implementation of this new tax law, shop owners are still holding out for HB 2342, a house bill sponsored by republican Rep. Jeff Wheeland. The co-sponsored bill proposes a smaller tax of 5 cents per milliliter of e-liquid sold that would replace the current 40% tax on all vapor products.
The state’s House Finance Committee, of which Rep. Wheeland is a member, voted 19-4 to repeal the erroneous wholesale tax earlier this week, but the bill still needs to be approved by the full house and state senate before it can be signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf.
HB 2342 could go up for a vote as early as this fall, and in the meantime, PA vape shops are holding their collective breaths as this bill could mean the difference between a fruitful future in the industry or state-wide going-out-of-business sales.