Vape Tax is Key Issue in New York Budget Debate
New York is now joining the number of states threatening the vapor industry with major tax increases. Several big changes are slated for review in the Empire state, keeping vape shop owners anxious as they wait for a decision to be made.
Significant Tax Increases
The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, first proposed a bill that would tax all e-liquids at ten cents per ml. On the average 60 ml bottle, that would mean a six dollar increase in prices. However, the debate doesn’t stop there.
New York’s State Assembly proposed a larger tax four times that proposed by the governor. That would more than double the price of nearly all e-liquid products on the market in New York state, pushing the price of a 60 ml bottle to around $50. In addition, the Assembly plans to add vapor products to the list of items regulated by the Clean Indoor Air Act, which would bar vape shops from allowing vaping inside their stores.
Many vapers argue that if the state makes e-liquid products as expensive, or more expensive, than traditional cigarettes, people will continue choosing traditional tobacco products. This would be a major hit to the vapor industry as study after study has shown that the vapors produced by their devices contain only a fraction of the harmful chemicals that are found in cigarette smoke. Plus, many e-liquid products contain no nicotine at all, so taxing them as a tobacco product and insinuating that they are as dangerous as cigarettes is misleading at best.
Both proposals will go before the council for a vote as the state prepares their new budget. Governor Cuomo has stated that they need to ramp up taxes on vapor products right now because they are stealing so much of the state revenue that was once produced by traditional tobacco taxes. In addition, he considers it a preventive measure to keep vapor products out of the hands of children.
Nevertheless, vape shop owners continue to band together to show their communities how this tax will be harmful. There are currently more than 600 vape shops in the state that stand to take a hit from this measure, and many of them may be forced to close up shop if consumers suddenly find vapor products priced out of their budget. A vote is expected in the coming weeks and vape shop owners are working diligently to make the case against the proposals as best they can.
Gianna Del Monte is the Brand Manager at VaporFi. She has been in the vaping industry since June 2015 and has extensive experience in successfully managing and marketing a variety of new vapor product launches. Originally from New Jersey, Gianna has lived in the Miami area for the last 5 years.