A New Threat
New York State Vapor Association (NYSVA) is now warning vape-related businesses and the consumers of vapor products that there is no time to celebrate because this may very well be just the beginning of a much longer battle than expected. This is definitely not the type of news a vaping advocate wants to hear. Although it is absolutely necessary.
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A number of prominent states in the U.S. have experienced some business-ending conditions strictly from the installment of an unnecessary and unrealistic tax policy. One of the very worst cases is currently happening in Minnesota. This particular state was the first to impose an outrageous and unfathomable taxation policy, which remains higher than any other state tax in the country: 95% wholesale tax on Vapor Products.
States that have NOT been so Lucky
The other states affected in extremely negative ways may have felt a more hopeful and unified sense of pride to see one of their fellow states defeat excessive taxation since this is what has ultimately been punishing them. Is punish too strong of a word for this scenario? Ask the vapers and former shop owners in Pennsylvania. I’m sure they have much to share about feeling robbed.
Other states who have experienced the excessive taxation on their vapor industry would include Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and California. However, there is also a number of states taxing vapor products at a more reasonable rate even though zero taxation is obviously preferable for their vaping communities.
For example, the states of North Carolina tax $0.5/ml, Louisiana is $0.5/ml, and Kansas taxes $.20/ml on eliquids. However, what is disgraceful is all of the local municipalities using a vapor tax to help pay their overdue bills, much like my birthplace “The Windy City” aka Chicago, IL.
It’s certainly acceptable to suggest that perhaps, NY State’s victory, in retrospect, may very well be especially meaningful to the state’s which are already forced to endure such a heavy fiscal burden. Or, perhaps states currently experiencing similar state budget issues are proud to see NY beat a tax threat. For instance, Ohio is currently battling a 69% tax hike, which they have been able to get all vapor language removed from the budget as well, now it must pass the State Senate. Support OHVTA.org to help.
A Short-Lived Celebration
No less than 2 weeks ago, we reported on the NYSVA confirming that the vapor language has been entirely removed from the state budget proposal. In fact, we had nearly 5 stories that covered the situation in order to provide a well-rounded perspective. It could be said that this was one of the very few victories the vape industry has experienced since the announcement of the FDA regulations on May 5, 2016. This rare occasion was certainly a great change of pace.
Now we are being told there are more threats on the table for New York residents. This will be a short-lived victory as the NYSVA warns small-business owners and consumers in the state of New York that there are 24 standalone bills that require involvement from all advocates as these bills could be more damaging than anything mentioned in the original budget.
This is such a strange industry, just when you think you may have tallied up a win – just when you think the residents of New York are safe with the budget crisis over and done with, then another threat suddenly emerges from the depths of defeat – more specifically, 24 threats!
This is absolutely devastating to learn of. Some markets are so frightened by the emergence of vapor becoming the social norm that they won’t even allow a short-lived victory. So it seems they immediately carve up some alternate legislation for their political connections to dangle in the face of the vapor industry.
Some might argue whether or not this could now even be considered a victory, but from all the advocate’s dedication and hard work from across the state with NYSVA leading the way, this is something the vape community is not very often exposed to – thus, it was indeed a victory, regardless of who agrees.
Overall, everyone in the global vape community is rooting for the NYSVA and other fellow New York-based advocacy groups – that goes for any other individual vapers who advocate as well. The community supports you all to continue displaying great leadership, setting an example for the rest of the vaping advocates across the United States and abroad.
Message from the NYSVA
The NYSVA.org website states:
“THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER! There are currently 24 stand-alone bills on the table to regulate vapor products, and many of these would decimate the entire vaping industry in New York State. Many of the budget proposals will come right back in the form of a stand-alone bill (ex. tax) and some bills are even WORSE than the regulations that were removed from the budget (ex. ban the sale of bottled eliquid).”
If you’d like to possibly assist New York in any way, feel free to visit NYSVA.org