The latest news on e-cigs is that vape shops in DC need to watch out! And so it begins… massive taxes have finally hit the e-cigarette world, at least in the nation’s capitol, Washington DC. Vapers have long been dreading this, though many have expected it for quite some time.
On October 1st, 2015, DC implemented a new 67% excise tax on all products related to electronic smoking products, including electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, and e-liquids. As part of the 2016 budget proposal, which encompasses the Vapor Product Amendment of 2015, officially halts the classifying of e-cigarettes into the same grouping as traditional cigarettes in regards to sales tax. The increase is monumental; when regarded as tobacco products, e-cigarette products were subject to a 5.75% sales tax; a far cry from the crippling 67% consumers are now faced with. Though it does not extend to online shopping, the law is aimed at the many vape shops that have opened up throughout the DC area.
While this is not a nationwide law, those in the DC area are going to see a lot of big changes in how e-cigarettes are sold locally. This regulation was enacted as an effort to raise money, in which the mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser anticipates an increase of $400,000 to be gained, and used towards local efforts.
This new amendment officially declassified electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, and goes in for the kill by giving them their own category; allowing municipalities to take the taxation to the extreme.
We have long advocated the implementation of regulations within reason, and laws that are made on behalf of the people who use the products, and above all, done in the name of common sense; not exploitation in an effort to raise money.
What may seem like such a small move has the potential to be catastrophic. Because it directly targets brick and mortar shops, along with gas stations and convenience stores, it is expected that stores in the area will be closing, customers will be driven away due to high cost, and people will most likely lose jobs. Doesn’t sound very economically stable, or growth-inducing, does it, considering this law was enacted to stimulate the local DC economy?