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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Taxes & Vaping (part 2)

Taxes & Vaping (part 2) 

Vaping is a growing industry in Minnesota, providing many tax paying citizens a ticket to the American Dream, their own company - companies which are providing much needed jobs all over the state. Vaping is an industry some people turn to to quit smoking, all these people are now healthier people who are saving the state millions of dollars in heath care costs, have become healthy & productive employees, etc., making the vaping industry a win - win for Minnesota and it's citizens. 

HF848 - is a MN tax bill that includes an amendment for a $0.30 per milliliter tax on e-liquid containing nicotine. That's an additional $9.00 per bottle tax!!!! All across the state of Minnesota, people have been trying to fight this tax. The House Tax Committee took testimony on this topic last week and this week. Besides all the e-mails and phone calls, 40 people appeared in person to testify against the tax and 6 people appeared in person to testify for the tax. At least 2 of the people testifying for the tax do not live in Minnesota and represented big tobacco, including a CEO from RJ Reynolds Vaping Division (ya'all remember good old RJ Reynolds, the fine folks who brought us Winston & Camel?). 

Today, when it was brought forth that 40 people testified against the tax and 6 testified for it, the Chairperson of the MN House Tax Committee,  Representative Greg Davids,  asked "What if you take out the vapers?" Plug your ears as I exhale a long string of naughty words..... 

I am so disappointed in this comment! Why didn't he ask "What if you take out the representatives of Big Tobacco?"? Because if you did, you would not have your whole whopping 6 people who spoke in favor of the tax! As one of the 40 people who spoke against the tax, I am deeply offended at his comment.  (Click here for my testimony.) My concerns are not important because they refer to members of the vaping community? The fact that I am a Minnesotan, I vote, I pay taxes, I do my fair share of volunteer work, and try to be a good citizen is not as important as Winston and Camel? Oh, excuse me, RJ Reynolds, and all of Big Tobacco? 

Today the House Tax Committee voted to KEEP the e-liquid tax in HF848, largely due to the urging of their chair, Rep. Davids.

Game On............ Rep. Davids, game on.......... We - the vaping community - won't lie down... nope, not a one of us. We've already proven how strong we are when we kicked the smoking habit, we tried and tried until we experienced success. Now that we know success, failure is NOT an option! On to the full House we go, we will keep working to get this tax dropped from HF848. 

Quitting smoking is the only time "quit" will be a part of our vocabulary. 'Nuff said!


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