Indiana Chamber on ‘woefully inadequate’ and ‘unacceptable’ e-cigarette tax proposed by senate republicans

INDIANAPOLIS Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar comments on the “woefully inadequate” tax on e-cigarette products offered today in the state budget:

Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar

“A tax on vaping products of only 10 cents per milliliter for e-liquids is entirely insufficient and arguably worse than no increase at all. Last week, Senate Leader Rod Bray indicated the e-liquids tax would bring that segment in line with the traditional cigarette tax. Unfortunately, the Senate Republican amendment adopted today absolutely does not do that.

“What the Indiana Senate has offered is only a fraction – a measly one-tenth – of the state’s already low tobacco tax. For comparison, Kentucky taxes that amount of e-liquids or pods at $1.50 per cartridge. The Indiana Chamber strongly believes these products need to be taxed at either the retail or wholesale level, not on the liquid content. We have proposed a 15% tax on the retail price. That would be $2.40 for a four-pack of pods or $1.50 for a two-pack.

“If the tax isn’t increased to a level comparable to current tobacco taxes, we have no choice but to oppose and work to remove this provision from the budget. Such an insignificant tax will do nothing to detour our youth from vaping and becoming severely addicted to nicotine. It’s unacceptable and allows the Juuls of the world to win because they can say we are now taxed in Indiana. However, the reality is it’s at a completely miniscule amount and far less than our neighboring states or our own traditional tobacco products.

“We are deeply disappointed that the Senate Republicans not only did not include an increase in the cigarette tax in the budget bill but are now letting the e-cigarette sellers off with an unacceptably low tax rate.”