So I just did an article about the 40% tax in Pennsylvania on vape gear and e-liquids. I talked about all the shops that had closed and the limited inventory the local shops were now carrying in order to get by. Prices on equipment were pretty ridiculous too due to the tax. A mod that should have cost about $75-$80 retail was going for $120 due to the tax. I couldn't believe a state would be so willing to kill a growing industry with such a ridiculous tax. That is until I read about Connecticut's new proposed vape tax.
It appears as though Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy saw the PA vape tax and had a, "40% vape tax? Here, hold my beer", moment and is trying to push a 75% vape tax through for the state's 2018 budget. And why is this happening? Money, it's all about perceived tax income. Malloy is under the same delusion as PA lawmakers by thinking he can make millions in tax revenue by focusing on the vaping industry. He isn't totally wrong since Pennsylvania did rake in over $13 million in tax revenue last year alone. But Malloy seems to have missed the part where over half of the vape shops in Pennsylvania shut down due to that same tax. Simple logic says that if the shops that sell the products you intend to tax shut down there won't be anything to tax. And once the shops begin to shut down not only do you lose the product taxes but you lose the business tax revenue, property tax revenue, and the tax revenue collected by the state on the employees of those shops. How does any of this make sense?
Connecticut has been operating for 2 months without a budget at this point. It seems like the Governor is using that to his advantage to push his agenda through with the promise of big tax dollars. Malloy stated that he foresees a $13 million dollar boost in tax revenue equivalent to that of Pennsylvania. This seems highly unlikely with only 90 vape shops registered in the state of Connecticut. I highly doubt there are many, if any, shops that could survive a 75% sales tax. I mean think about that. Simple math on that is an additional $7.50 on every $10. Connecticut has one of the highest taxes on cigarettes as well at $3.90 per pack, second only to New York at $4.35 per pack. Even at almost $4 tax per pack that's nowhere near a 75% tax. Not to mention with cigarettes you're talking less than $10. With vaping devices you're talking $30 and up. E-liquids can also be $20-$30. I don't know, it just doesn't make sense to me.
If you live in Connecticut, or even if you don't, contact the Governor's office and let them know how ridiculous you think this is. Visit CASAA's website to find suggested talking points and other ways to help. Help save an entire state from killing their healthier alternative to smoking.