Democratic lawmakers in West Virginia could face higher taxes on vaping products.
The Tax Foundation notes that if Senate Bill (SB) 68 advances to the point of becoming law, consumers across Mountain State could face “extraordinarily high taxes on vapor products.”
“Lawmakers should not overindulge on excise tax increases, and West Virginian lawmakers should consider some unintended consequences that could arise as a result of increased taxes on cigarettes,” writes Ulrik Boesen, a senior excise tax policy analyst for the foundation, in an analysis of Senate Bill 68.
SB 68 is sponsored by Sen. Ron Stollings and Richard Lindsay, both Democrats and would increase taxes on e-liquids used in open and closed system vaporizers from 7.5 cents per milliliter to $1 per milliliter. That is a 1,300 percent increase, Boesen notes.
“The stated purpose of this bill is to increase the excise tax on cigarettes to $2.00 on each 20 cigarettes or in like ratio on any part thereof; and to increase the excise tax on sales of e-cigarette liquid at the rate of $1.00 per milliliter or fraction thereof, or if not sold, then at the same rate upon the use by the wholesaler or dealer,” reads a fiscal note attached to the bill.
At this standard, a bottle of 20 ml would have a $20 tax attached to it.
This is equal to the tax burden on a carton of cigarettes, which contains 200 cigarettes, 20 per pack, at a $2 tax per pack.
The average sum of a typical vaper’s per day consumption is between 3 to 8 ml per day.
Depending on the type of vaporizer, the liquid’s actual potency, and other preservatives and additives in the liquid vary.
This is basically a $3 to $8 daily use tax for the average vaper.
“If SB 68 is enacted, a smoker would have to smoke 30 to 80 cigarettes a day to incur the same state tax cost,” he added.
“While excise taxes on both cigarettes and vapor products can be a legitimate way to recoup some societal costs associated with nicotine consumption, there is hardly any justification for taxing vapor products at a higher rate than combustible tobacco products.”