The Washington State House of Representatives is considering a tax on vapor products that could cripple or kill most vape shops and e-liquid manufacturers in the state.
CASAA has issued a Call to Action, asking all vapers and vape business owners in Washington to contact their State Representatives immediately. The CASAA online system makes it possible to send messages directly to your representative in less than a minute.
The bill will have a hearing in the capitol on Thursday. It’s crucial that legislators hear from their vaping constituents immediately.
The new law would tax vape products at 60 percent of wholesale cost, and — like the crushing Pennsylvania tax passed in 2016 — would include a “floor tax.” That means that vape shops would have to pay the full tax on all merchandise on the shelves at the time the tax takes effect.
The Pennsylvania tax was 40 percent, and more than half of the state’s 200-plus vape shops closed after it passed. The Washington tax is even worse. In addition to taxing wholesale purchases from manufacturers, all online purchases by regular consumers would also be taxed at 60 percent.
For several years now, Washington vapers have fought off tax proposals. But this time the tax is being tied to popular Tobacco 21 legislation. The authors of HB 2165 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.
Previous tax threats have contributed to well-known Washington State vape businesses leaving the state or closing. In 2015, e-liquid giant Mt. Baker Vapor moved from Washington to Arizona. And last year, mod pioneer ProVape shut its doors for good.