As witnessed as a desperate attempt to save several vaping shops from a total shutdown of operations, the Finance Committee of Pennsylvania voted to repeal the introduction of a 40% tax with the application of a 5 cents per ml of tax against every e-liquid.
Without the vote to repeal, the original result would have up to 300 vaping shops in Pennsylvania being charged with the 40% wholesale tax on all vaping products and e-cigarette devices. The damage would have been widespread to the 300 vape shops with up to 1,500 people’s employments at hand.
According to Bob Dick who is the senior policy analyst of the Commonwealth Foundation, in a statement he made, vape shops owners are not deserving of being literally “taxed out of business” in order to enable Harrisburg’s out-of-control spending. “This tax unfairly targeted one industry to the point of near extinction. We’ve already seen approximately 50 vape shops close their doors because of this tax, and more will follow unless it is repealed.”
Governor Wolf is responsible for the approval of the 40% tax which happened this past summer of 2016 which was then the General Assembly passed the proposal which was tied in together as part and parcel of the 2016-2017 Budget. According to the Budget’s calculations, the introduction of the 40% tax was expected to have raised up to $13 million USD in revenue alone. Despite the revenue looking great and appealing, the flaw was in the failure of the finance committee to consider the circumstances of the vape shop owners and the final result of owners not being able to afford the 40% inclination in taxes. The question was diverted into whether the business owners were not keen on tax itself or whether it was due to their inability to afford paying those kinds of taxes became of issue.
According to Chris Hughes, the owner of the Fat Cat Vapor Shop located at Montoursville in Pennsylvania, it isn’t so much as to the concern of a “slight tax increase” (he spoke on behalf of other vape shop business owners), the engagement of being part of the vaping culture in American is literally their businesses, their livelihoods and their employees’ livelihoods being “crushed” and hugely negatively impacted. In Hughes’ words, “image if you were told that on October 1, you would have to pay a 40% tax on everything you own.”
This definitely has become an eye opener with regard to regulators trying to draft acts and regulations that will be practical in application. The matter of the e-cigarette industry going rather unregulated has caused several concerns throughout the legislative bounds with attempts to implement law and order around vape culture (e.g. the FDA’s proposal of a regulation to extend its purview to include e-cigarettes).
Despite it being seen throughout the United States that authorities are trying and starting to crackdown on the freedoms of vaping culture and vape shops, it has always been a long standing lesson that has time and time again been proven to not have been learnt, theories of how to regulate the industry have shown to be not practical. Instead of treating the vaping community as a bunch of guinea pigs but throwing in laws that will either damage society and its small businesses or are just far too arbitrary, suggestions throughout the vaping community discuss for a form of consultation between community leaders that can speak on behalf of the vaping community with the authorities who wish to bind the vaping industry.