Kansas Vape Shops Claim New Ecig Tax Will Shut Down Stores
The Kansas senate recently approved a new bill that could significantly increase the cost of e-liquids with a new tax. Lawmakers hope the new tax of .20 per milliliter will help make a dent in the current $400 million budget deficit, but the state’s vape shop owners believe that the new bill could be detrimental to their businesses and to public health.
Some ecig shop owners worry that such a drastic tax hike could essentially put them out of business and now they feel forced to consider moving across state lines. Eric McPherson who owns a popular vape shop is frustrated by the lawmakers’ decision to tax eliquids. “I can’t survive on taxing $6 a bottle of liquid when they can go 5 miles down the road and get the same thing for less money,” he said.
Local vapers are also outraged at the new bill. Kansas City’s 900-member vapor club has spoken out against the new tax proposal. Member Hugh Brown said, “I’m going to be taxed and punished for improving my health. I don’t see that as a solution to the problem.”
Right now, the tax is only two votes away from being finalized and some state legislators insist that this is the only way they can fix the budget. Brown said that while he believes taxes are a necessary part of the state’s infrastructure, it isn’t the first approach that lawmakers should take. “I agree taxes are needed, but I think the better thing is to look at spending.”
McPherson said he has had to put business expansion on hold until the state’s lawmakers make a decision on the tax. His business is booming and he is ready to move to the next level, but if the tax is accepted, he might have to move his business to Missouri. “I’m looking at expanding. I’ve got two employees; I’m looking at hiring. But right now, that’s all kind of on hold.”
Do you think taxing eliquids is unfair? Is this just another money grab from greedy politicians that aren’t willing to make uncomfortable budget cuts?