By CHRIS MELLIDES
Pennsylvania vape shops were dealt a serious blow after a tax hike was passed in October as part of the state’s budget plan.
The imposed measure called for a 40 percent wholesale tax on all vapor products, and stores selling them also had to pay a 40 percent floor tax on their existing inventory.
Due to this retroactive tax, it is estimated that 100 vape businesses closed their doors in 2016, which accounts for approximately 1/3 of the state’s vapor product industry, according to the Pennsylvania Vape Association, an advocacy organization with a focus on tobacco harm reduction.
Last year the state’s House Finance Committee voted 19-4 to repeal the 40% wholesale tax on vapor products, but the bill ultimately expired due to a lack of legislative days in 2016 and an inadequate number of readings by the House.
This year, the legislation is expected to be reintroduced by Representative Jeff Wheeland and Senator Camera Bartolotta with the goal of reducing the tax from 40 percent to just five cents per milliliter on e-liquid.
A rally to support the reduction of the existing vapor product taxation will be held at the state capitol on Monday, January 23 from 10-11:30 a.m.
Vape businesses interested in supporting the rally can list their shop name and contact information on the Pennsylvania Vape Association page.
Chris Mellides is the Managing Editor of VAPE Magazine. A seasoned journalist, he has worked in all areas of the media industry since first getting his start in newspaper reporting ten years ago. Contact him at email@example.com.