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House Finance Committee Holds Informational Hearing on Wheeland Vape Tax Legislation
6/27/2017
HARRISBURG – Legislation designed to drop the current 40 percent wholesale tax on electronic cigarettes and vapor products and replace it with a 5-cent-per-milliliter retail tax was the subject of an informational hearing today by the House Finance Committee, according to the bill’s author Rep. Jeff Wheeland (R-Lycoming.)

“I am grateful for the hearing before the House Finance Committee on this legislation that can still help save some small businesses being hurt by this tax,” said Wheeland. “Between the time I first introduced this bill last year and now, many small vape shops have closed and jobs have been lost. It is time we took a smart approach to this budding industry and help it flourish, not penalize it.”

The effect of the tax was put forward by Amelia Rivera of Hamburg, Berks County, who serves on the Pennsylvania Vape Association Board and who owns and operates Sabor Vapors LLC, a retail vape shop and e-liquid manufacturer.

“By taxing vape products and stores out of existence, you are unfairly limiting the availability of reduced harm alternatives to smoking regular cigarettes, sometimes called combustible cigarettes,” said Rivera. “According to the World Health Organization, combustible cigarettes have led to nearly 6 million deaths annually and will likely have a death toll of 1 billion lives within the 21st century. Vape products have the opportunity to decrease this staggering health crisis.”

Also testifying were Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue C. Daniel Hassell who said the proposal could have a harmful effect on tax revenue coming into the Commonwealth in the midst of budget troubles.

The 40 percent tax was enacted in October, 2016 as part of an overall package designed to raise $1.3 billion in revenues.

Wheeland said the committee has yet to schedule a formal vote on House Bill 1477.

Representative Jeff C. Wheeland
83rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Raymond Smith
717.705.1834
rsmith@pahousegop.com
RepWheeland.com / Facebook.com/RepWheeland

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