Do you support a tax increase on e-cigarettes?

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“For Minnesota’s growing e-cigarette industry, the House omnibus tax bill looks like a bust,” writes MPR News reporter Catharine Richert.

Buried in the bill is a provision that would change the way e-cigarettes are taxed. Right now, disposable e-cigarettes or vapor used in reusable e-cigarettes is taxed at 95 percent of the wholesale price of tobacco products.

The tax bill would change the rules to impose a 30 cent tax on every milliliter of vaping solution.

Vaping retailers and manufacturers say that amounts to an 800 percent tax increase.

“This will crush the vaping industry in Minnesota,” said Tim Koester President of the Independent Vapor Retailers of Minnesota. “I suspect a majority of Minnesota vape businesses will not be able to operate much longer if this new tax is imposed.”

Today’s Question: Do you support a tax increase on e-cigarettes?

  • We tax just about everything else in Mn, why not e-cigs?

    • Nathan Affield

      You make it sound like they’re tax free.
      They’re already taxed.
      sales tax to consumers, and a 95% tax on anything that contains nicotine (paid by businesses.)

  • bob hicks

    Yup. If the tax is high enough to discourage people from selling and buying them, and results in some sellers going out of business, I’m O.K. with that.

    • Nathan Affield

      You’re OK with giving BIG TOBACCO an edge in selling harmful products?
      This tax will ONLY effect small businesses. most of which are honest Mom&pop stores that provide good jobs and an excellent service!

      Why are you trying to kill small business, discourage people from quitting, and rob the pockets of former smokers?

  • PaulJ

    If the money is used for anything but dealing with e-cig problems, the tax would be another instance of the exploitation of a weak minority.

    • Dave M

      Nobody’s forced to buy them.

      • PaulJ

        Being overweight is also a health problem caused by discretionary behavior , but junk food is not targeted; maybe because it has too much political clout.

        • Gary F

          Tax that too. You cant tax enough right now.

      • dd

        Stupid argument is stupid. if you support high taxes then pay 99% to goberment and leave others alone.

        • Dave M

          I have never paid taxes on cigarettes. What’s your problem?

          • dd

            Whta’s my problem? Dude, you come here and want to excessively tax something I use. That’s not your business.

          • Dave M

            Define “excessive.” Greater than zero?

          • dd

            greater than other consumer products

          • Nathan Affield

            how about 800% when we already pay sales tax as consumers.
            This isn’t about money for the state. BIG TOBACCO is pushing this tax to give them an upperhand selling disposables.

      • Mark Black

        Nobody’s forced to buy groceries either, but they still do. Your reasoning is not logical.

  • Gary F

    Sure, sock it to them. Then I can say to them like I do the cigarette smokers, “keep smoking, there is a Democrat who has a spending addiction who needs your fix”!

    Or, “It’s for the children, keep smoking”.

    The proles need to pay more in taxes, so I’m all in on this one.

    • Mark Black

      Since you’re against smoking Gary F, I can assume you’re against drinking too. Let’s take it all the way and tax alcohol in the same manner. This amounts to nothing more than prohibition, 21st century style. We all know how well that works. The Black Market on this stuff is going to make some people very rich and the Nanny State won’t see a single penny of it. The Dude doesn’t approve.

      • Gary F

        Yep, why not? We already have a massive surplus and they want to tax even more things. Cant tax too much can we. It’s for the children or for people’s own good, right?

        I’m in a brew club. So my of my drinking is done with home brew.

  • Richard Kamleiter

    Going to tax us for quitting cigarettes? Wow!

    • Pearly

      Yes

      • Richard Kamleiter

        Why? My juice has no nicotine. I make my juice from products purchased at CVS.

        • Pearly

          Why? Because the Government knows what’s best for you

          • Richard Kamleiter

            ROFLMAO!

          • Pearly

            🙂

          • Ulysses Tennyson

            Sounds like a fine way to get juice all over YA.

        • Tina Meyers

          Boycott CVS—as they are racists!

          • Richard Kamleiter

            Walgreens OK with you?

  • John Dilligaf

    I just looked online for how much the stuff costs and what quantity it’s sold in. It appears to range from $12 to $20 for 30 ml. This tax would be adding $9 ($.30 x 30ml) to that cost. That seems excessive, especially when some people are using this product to stop smoking actual cigarettes.

    • Nathan Affield

      pretty sure this is the FIRST instance of a flat rate tax per quantity. in my 26 years as a Minnesotan, I’ve never seen a flat tax.

      The whole thing screams FISHY

  • Blog Dog

    Heavily taxing e-cigs will keep thousands puffing away on deadly tobacco cigs. Politician’s serious addiction to taxes will cost lives!

  • snub666

    Sounds like the vapor shops in Hudson will be super busy.

  • Tina Meyers

    The Minnesota government has stolen so much tax money from {tobacco} Cigarettes {how do you think the new Viking stadium was financed, from high Cigarette tax} and now they want to steal it from E-cigs………Shame on them!

    • Pearly

      Stop voting for the tea party

      • You’re No Daisy

        Who are you and what happened to the real Pearly?

  • Marcus A of Chaska

    90% of respondents to this Q are sick and tired of more and more taxes. Typical liberal ideology to tax more and feed the huge government..So why is it so many Progressives on MSNBC owe tons of taxes? Sharpton’s 1/8 million owed, Melissa Harris owes, etc. We need the Federal reserve to be audited before more taxes are accrued. Obama has added 403 new taxes since he took office..when is enough enough for these new elected official millionairs robbing all of you blind? Who doesn’t NPR cover real stories like Hillary and Bill’s secret illegal deals with uranium mines that Russia benefited? Hmmm.so .Hillary is off bounds for all liberal media?
    “Control the news and the schools and we control the country.” Adolph Hitler, 1936

    Since its creation, the Federal Reserve has recklessly devalued the American dollar by pumping money into our economy.

    Not only has the Fed made backroom deals with financial institutions,
    both domestic and abroad, but they refuse to disclose the details of
    these deals to Congress or the American public.

    H.R. 24, Congressman Thomas Massie’s “Audit the Fed” bill was introduced
    in the House on January 5th, 2015. It’s companion bill, S. 264, was
    introduced by Senator Rand Paul’s on January 27th, 2015 in the Senate.
    These bills open the Federal Reserve’s books to the Government
    Accountability Office for full audit, demanding full transparency from
    the Fed for the first time since its inception. – See more at:
    http://americanactionnews.com/calls-to-action/tell-congress-to-audit-the-fed#sthash.jI6FZr2S.dpuf

    Since its creation, the Federal Reserve has recklessly devalued the American dollar by pumping money into our economy.

    Not only has the Fed made backroom deals with financial institutions,
    both domestic and abroad, but they refuse to disclose the details of
    these deals to Congress or the American public.

    H.R. 24, Congressman Thomas Massie’s “Audit the Fed” bill was introduced
    in the House on January 5th, 2015. It’s companion bill, S. 264, was
    introduced by Senator Rand Paul’s on January 27th, 2015 in the Senate.
    These bills open the Federal Reserve’s books to the Government
    Accountability Office for full audit, demanding full transparency from
    the Fed for the first time since its inception. – See more at:
    http://americanactionnews.com/calls-to-action/tell-congress-to-audit-the-fed#sthash.jI6FZr2S.dpuf

    • Ulysses Tennyson

      See more? You’ve got to be kidding. So I take it you don’t want those e-cigs you’ve been smoking taxed. And the ones in Chaska have more than nicotine in ’em.

      • Ulysses Tennyson

        Marcus, are you quite sure you haven’t been visiting your local meth lab by mistake?

  • Nathan Affield

    JUST an FYI: THis isn’t some liberal attack on small business, RJ Reynolds and Big tobacco are essentially holding a juicy tax-steak in front of a hungry Legislature and attempting to impose this tax on CONSUMERS so they can gut their competition, SMALL BUSINESS.

    Big Tobacco has an archaic Business model that is failing, so instead of doing what we should do in a Free Market society, adapting to survive, they’re asking the STATE to “balance the market” for them. this is dispicable.

  • skoony

    with a projected 2 billion dollar surplus,plus the fact i can not afford beef anymore i say no.

  • Jim Norman

    Taxation is taxation…but why make it so unreasonable? Put the standard tax of 6.5% on it and let it ride. 95%? Where did they get that number from? I don’t think I’m the only one here that sees a bit of a trend here. Cigarette sales start to fall…due to the introduction of “Vaping”…and so the government boosts the taxes in order to “Kill the competition”. You better believe that Big Tobacco has a HUGE part in this.

    • Nathan Affield

      Big tobacco is actually ENTIRELY it, Jim. The state didn’t propose this.
      They’re just being handed a rather hard to refuse offer.
      95% is on the wholesale side, and its like that becaue the cost is lower on wholesale stuff. Frankly if RJR just started making E-liquid and abandoned their disposable model, they’d do fine.

      If they had done that in the FIRST place they wouldn’t be here now. What they dont get is people will STILL buy open-systems to disposables, even if the tax is high. so this proposal accomplishes NOTHING that ANYONE intends OTHER than hurting small businesses.

      • Jim Norman

        I still struggle with what the State is considering the basis for this Tax? Is it due to the Nicotine content? If so, why not do the same with Patches or Gum? PG or VG taxation as well? Man…someone is way off base with this one.

        • Nathan Affield

          The basis? We live in MN, home of the Vice-taxes.
          The argument at this point ONLY is some misguided attempt at regulation and “balancing the market”

          Why else is RJR asserting that their disposables and Open-systems use the same amount of liquid?
          AND I QUOTE:
          “A 30ml Bottle of liquid will last most consumers 60 days.” – RJR President
          They’re trying to make the two systems seem identical, THUS making the argument about balancing markets ‘valid’

          • Jim Norman

            **Snicker*** RJR is most certainly behind this! That’s nothing but an all out lie. State is appearing to wander aimlessly behind BT, begging to be lead to flowing meadows of countless cash. Lambs to slaughter? Hmmm.

    • Mark Black

      I wonder how many steak & lobster dinners the CEO of RJ Reynolds Vapor Division had to buy that fat bastard Greg Davids, chair of the tax committee, before he decided to run with it. Corrupt is corrupt… but why make it so unreasonable?

  • Mark Black

    I know of a couple of businesses and residents that are moving out of state because of Minnesota’s desire to favor Big Bidness and ignore their constituents in start up bidnesses.

  • David Hicks

    I don’t live in Minnesota. The way I see it is:
    The existing Vapers, friends and family will have to purchase out of state.
    The small vape shops will go out of business.
    Smoking will remain high.
    Limited Tax revenue collected..

  • Nathan Wersal

    No. I buy gourmet nicotine-containing liquid in 120mL bottles for $45 each (before taxes). This new tax would make me personally report and remit $36 additional per bottle to the State. That’s completely unreasonable. And the current 95%-of-wholesale use tax is unreasonably high as well. I quit smoking 9 months ago, and it’s time for the State to stop treating me like a smoker and recognize the huge comparative public health advantages of e-cigs with some real tax incentives. In addition, while this tax bill would kill Minnesota small businesses, it would actually give a tax break and a competitive advantage to the weak, ineffective, unsatisfactory disposable “cigalike” e-cigarette products sold by Big Tobacco in gas stations, which consumers have been overwhelmingly rejecting in favor of small-business products over the last few years. I literally cannot believe that a bill this awful for MN small business came from House Republicans.

    • Nathan Wersal

      Oh, and to be clear, a 120mL bottle lasts approximately 3-4 weeks for me. This will vary from person to person. You generally go through more liquid for the first couple weeks when you drop the nicotine level, which I’ve done several times now. (18 mg/mL to 12, to 6, to 3…) Dropping nicotine levels is something the state should consider encouraging with reduced taxes, not discouraging.

  • DrMA

    There’s no possible justification for imposing any tax on the solution to the smoking problem. Vaping should be subsidized, not discouraged with punitive tax. Taxing ecigs to “recover” lost tobacco tax revenue is the same as taxing AA to recover “lost” alcohol tax.

  • Dwight Castimore

    I do not support this tax…it’s big tobacco’s attempt to but the small businesses in MN out of business. Just think what that would mean to jobs, taxes already collected, and the destruction of a industry that has really helped smokers quit. No deaths in MN from ecig’s, but how many from lung cancer???

  • Janet Wambold-Buraik

    I do not support this tax increase. Vaping saved my life. It was the only way I was able to end a 45 year addiction to tobacco cigarettes. I was able to gradually decrease my nicotine intake. It is also going to destroy many small businesses in MN actually causing a loss in sales tax revenue for the state. Tobacco cigarettes are proven to cause many diseases, including death. There is no such evidence against vaping. If anything the taxes on tobacco cigarettes should be increased proportionate to the costs in incurs in the form of medical expenses of smokers and the loss of productivity to employers of smokers. Leave vaping alone. It is already taxed more than necessary.

  • Skip Murray

    NO, nope, nada, not, nananana, bad for MN, MN citizens, and MN based businesses? Why would we pass a tax to hurt MN to make the man who testified from Winston Salem, NC happy?

    40 Minnesotans spoke to the Tax Commitee against the tax and 6 spoke in favor (at least 2 of those 6 were from out of state). When will our voices be heard? No more taxes on MN small businesses and MN consumers. We have a budget surplus!

  • MiMg

    I want to hurt the tobacco companies as much as possible for producing such a dangerous product

  • Pomegranny

    If vaping (not e cigarettes found in gas stations, Big Tobacco has its own special friends with clout to keep those crappy things safe. If only they worked!) must be taxed, it should be taxed at 99 less per cent than burned tobacco cigarettes, on whom the jury is NOT out, and which are proven killers.
    No sin against vaping has yet been proven in a decade, which is why I think the FDA is dragging its heels on classifying it as tobacco. After all, no tobacco, no smoke, and frequently, no nicotine. P.S. The non nicotine cheap gas station e cigs seem to be the kind the teens are playing with, so no need to punish vape shops or the internet for that. Additionally, nobody of any age not already addicted to nicotine likes how it tastes. So there’s that. Big Tobacco’s only flavors come in ashtray/menthol, so the For The Chiiiildren Fake Alarum is directed at the more effective generation 2 and 3 vaporizers sold by actual people who arent’t corporations.
    But here’s my main point:
    Tobacco cigarettes don’t come in childproof packaging. They don’t list their ingredients, or the amount of nicotine. They don’t come in zero nicotine options.
    Tobacco cigarettes poison more children than e liquid has. They cause more home and forest fires than improperly charged vaping (or cellphone, or laptop) batteries ever could. And like I said, the jury is not out on them. They are convicted killers.
    Without a generation 2 device and fruity flavored e liquid, I would be happily smoking to this day.
    So no, vaping has decidedly NOT earned the sin tax burned tobacco cigarettes deserve. Since Big Tobacco seems to be pretending their junk is the same as cigarettes, by calling them tobacco products when they’re not, and since they can afford it, THEY can pay the tax. Maybe then states facing budget shortfalls from the falling sales of death sticks could afford to leave the healthier – not totally healthy, but 99 per cent safer, and harmless to bystanders – alone.
    I wouldn’t vape in anyone’s face. Most of us wouldn’t, because most of us are middle aged ex smokers well accustomed to stigma of being denormalized. (A horrid word).
    Since states agreed to taking bribes from Big Tobacco back in 1998 to NEVER pull death sticks off the market – and I don’t think they’re about tampering with their cigalikes just like they always did with burned tobacco, either – nobody should take them seriously when they talk about our health.
    But vapers who own vape shops and sell vaping gear offline are NOT Big Tobacco; they are small businesses fighting for their lives against the money-motivated fear mongering – Pharma isn’t selling many patches lately, either, hence the biased studies alaruming everyone they can – and fighting for the rights of smokers still not well informed about how much safer than smoking vaping can be when it is NOT brought to them by Big Tobacco. We who already believe the evidence of our own experience will still be vaping if BS legislation gets pushed through by special moneyed interests, but the smokers we still need to help are legion, and we are doing this without costing the taxpayers a cent. You sure can’t say that about some departments of public health, can you? Pretending vaping is the same as smoking for tax purposes or social engineering is ridiculous. And it will cost people their lives.