Friday, March 15, 2013

Call to Action! Minnesota Bills to Impose 95% Tax on E-Cigarettes -- HF 91 / HF 509 / SF 144 / SF 209 (ENDED)

UPDATE (5/22/2013)CASAA is disappointed to report that HF 677, which used the same tax language found in the below bills, passed the Minnesota Legislature.  Minnesota's tax on e-cigarettes is now 95% wholesale price. 

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Minnesota: 95% Wholesale Tax on E-Cigarettes, Smokeless Tobacco, and Dissolvable Tobacco Products (HF 91 / HF 509 / SF 144 / SF 209)


In 2010, while e-cigarette advocates were busy fighting proposed bans on the sale of e-cigarettes, the Minnesota State Legislature quietly amended their tobacco tax statutes. The definition of "tobacco product" was changed so as to encompass any nicotine-containing product that is derived from tobacco.  As of August of 2010, there has been a tax of 70% applied to the wholesale price of e-cigarettes with nicotine, as well as smokeless tobacco and dissolvable tobacco.

Minnesota is the only state in the United States to tax e-cigarette sales [for more details on the 2010 bill, see this ECF post].

HF 91, HF 509, SF 144, and SF 209 are all currently awaiting hearings before the House Committee on Taxes (HF 91), the House Committee on Health and Human Services Finance (HF 509), and the Senate Committee on Taxes (SF 144 and 209). If you are from the Minnesota area and think you could attend and testify at a legislative hearing on this subject, please e-mail us at board@casaa.org. In the meantime, the collective action of all vapers is needed to stop these tax increases.

House Bill 91 (HF 91): [full text] [legislative tracking]
House Bill 91 (HF 509): [full text] [legislative tracking]
Senate Bill 144 (SF 144): [full text] [legislative tracking]
Senate Bill (SF 209): [full text] [legislative tracking]

If enacted, any of these 4 bills would:

Increase the tax on "tobacco products" like e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and dissolvable tobacco to 95% wholesale price.* That represents a 36% increase from the already excessive 70% wholesale tax imposed under the 2010 bill.

* This Call to Action previously indicated that the proposed tax was 110%.  It's actually 95%.  

Please call or write the members of the House Committee on Taxes, the House Committee on Health and Human Services Finance & the Senate Committee on Taxes below: 

What to say:


1. You oppose HF 91 / HF 509 / SF 144 / SF 209 because the bills would further raise the arbitrary and counter-productive tax on  products like e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and dissolveable tobacco.   

2. Tell your story on how switching to a smoke-free tobacco product has changed your life.

3. Explain that the purpose of increasing cigarette taxes has been to cover governmental healthcare expenditure caused by smoking and to discourage smoking. But since all smoke-free tobacco products are 98-99% less hazardous than cigarettes, there is no fiscal or public health justification for such a hefty tax.

4. Since many/most e-cigarette sales are made online, enactment of this legislation would send more e-cigarette consumers online to buy e-cigarettes.  Convenience stores and brick-and-mortar stores in MN would be unable to compete against out-of-state and international online suppliers.


5. Highlight how Minnesota is the only state that taxes e-cigarettes, and that bills to do so in other states have failed in committee.

5. Many smokers who switch to less hazardous electronic cigarettes do so because e-cigarettes are less expensive than cigarettes. Increasing the costs of e-cigarettes to that of cigarettes would discourage many smokers from switching to e-cigarettes. It could also encourage some e-cigarette consumers to go back to cigarette smoking.


6. Remind them that under current law, Minnesota's cigarette tax is $1.23 per pack.  If an e-cigarette retailer purchases a disposable e-cigarette for $4.00 at wholesale, the retailer currently pays a tax of $2.80 (70% of $4.00).  Under HF 91 / SF 209, the tax would be $3.80 (95% of $4.00)!  Ask them to explain why an e-cigarette user should pay a higher effective tax rate than cigarette smokers. 

7. Ask them to consider introducing an amendment to modify Minnesota's definition of "tobacco product" so that the State no longer imposes any taxes on e-cigarettes. 

House Committee on Taxes (to oppose HF 91) -- comma delimited list:
rep.ann.lenczewski@house.mn, rep.diane.loeffler@house.mn, rep.greg.davids@house.mn, rep.sarah.anderson@house.mn, rep.tom.anzelc@house.mn, rep.bob.barrett@house.mn, rep.john.benson@house.mn, rep.lyndon.carlson@house.mn, rep.jim.davnie@house.mn, rep.steve.drazkowski@house.mn, rep.ron.erhardt@house.mn, rep.pat.garofalo@house.mn, rep.rick.hansen@house.mn, rep.john.lesch@house.mn, rep.tina.liebling@house.mn, rep.leon.lillie@house.mn, rep.jenifer.loon@house.mn, rep.tara.mack@house.mn, rep.paul.marquart@house.mn, rep.carly.melin@house.mn, rep.pam.myhra@house.mn, rep.michael.paymar@house.mn, rep.joyce.peppin@house.mn, rep.linda.runbeck@house.mn, rep.dan.schoen@house.mn, rep.erik.simonson@house.mn, rep.linda.slocum@house.mn, rep.kurt.zellers@house.mn

House Committee on Health and Human Services Finance (to oppose HF 509) -- comma delimited list:

rep.thomas.huntley@house.mn, rep.kim.norton@house.mn, rep.jim.abeler@house.mn, rep.susan.allen@house.mn, rep.matt.dean@house.mn, rep.peter.fischer@house.mn, rep.patti.fritz@house.mn, rep.glenn.gruenhagen@house.mn, rep.laurie.halverson@house.mn, rep.melissa.hortman@house.mn, rep.carolyn.laine@house.mn, rep.tina.liebling@house.mn, rep.diane.loeffler@house.mn, rep.tara.mack@house.mn, rep.joe.mcdonald@house.mn, rep.rena.moran@house.mn, rep.jerry.newton@house.mn, rep.duane.quam@house.mn, rep.joe.schomacker@house.mn, rep.nick.zerwas@house.mn, rep.lyndon.carlson@house.mn 

Senate Committee on Taxes (to oppose SF 144 & SF 209) -- comma delimited list:
sen.rod.skoe@senate.mn, sen.ann.rest@senate.mn, sen.julianne.ortman@senate.mn, thomas.bakk@senate.mn, sen.roger.chamberlain@senate.mn, sen.kari.dziedzic@senate.mn, sen.chris.eaton@senate.mn, sen.lyle.koenen@senate.mn, sen.john.marty@senate.mn, sen.carla.nelson@senate.mn, sen.roger.reinert@senate.mn, sen.david.senjem@senate.mn, sen.dave.thompson@senate.mn


Members of House Committee on Taxes (to oppose HF 91):

Ann Lenczewski (DFL) (Chair)
509 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4218

Diane Loeffler (DFL) (Vice Chair)
503 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4219

Greg Davids (R) (Republican Lead)
283 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-9278

Sarah Anderson (R)
237 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-5511

Tom Anzelc (DFL)
517 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4936

Bob Barrett (R)
287 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-5377

John Benson (DFL)
417 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-9934

Lyndon Carlson Sr. (DFL)
479 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4255

Jim Davnie (DFL)
445 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-0173

Steve Drazkowski (R)
289 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-2273

Ron Erhardt (DFL)
543 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4363

Pat Garofalo (R)
247 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-1069

Rick Hansen (DFL)
451 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-6828

John Lesch (DFL)
537 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4224

Tina Liebling (DFL)
367 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-0573

Leon Lillie (DFL)
371 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-1188

Jenifer Loon (R)
261 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-7449

Tara Mack (R)
345 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-5506

Paul Marquart (DFL)
597 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-6829

Carly Melin (DFL)
515 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-0172

Pam Myhra (R)
217 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4212

Michael Paymar (DFL)
563 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4199

Joyce Peppin (R)
281 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-7806

Linda Runbeck (R)
295 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-2907

Dan Schoen (DFL)
533 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4342

Erik Simonson (DFL)
429 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4246

Linda Slocum (DFL)
415 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-7158

Kurt Zellers (R)
351 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-5502


Members of the House Committee on Health and Human Services Finance (to oppose HF 509):



Thomas Huntley (DFL) (Chair)
585 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-2228             
rep.thomas.huntley@house.mn

Kim Norton (DFL) (Vice Chair)
593 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-9249
rep.kim.norton@house.mn

Jim Abeler (R) (Republican Lead)
203 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-1729
rep.jim.abeler@house.mn

Susan Allen (DFL)
577 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-7152
rep.susan.allen@house.mn

Matt Dean (R)
301 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-3018
rep.matt.dean@house.mn

Peter Fischer (DFL)
421 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-5363
rep.peter.fischer@house.mn

Patti Fritz (DFL)
437 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-8237
rep.patti.fritz@house.mn

Glenn Gruenhagen (R)
241 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4229
rep.glenn.gruenhagen@house.mn

Laurie Halverson (DFL)
407 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4128
rep.laurie.halverson@house.mn

Melissa Hortman (DFL)
377 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4280
rep.melissa.hortman@house.mn

Carolyn Laine (DFL)
485 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4331
rep.carolyn.laine@house.mn

Tina Liebling (DFL)
367 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-0573
rep.tina.liebling@house.mn

Diane Loeffler (DFL)
503 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4219
rep.diane.loeffler@house.mn

Tara Mack (R)
345 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-5506
rep.tara.mack@house.mn

Joe McDonald (R)
291 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4336
rep.joe.mcdonald@house.mn

Rena Moran (DFL)
413 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-5158
rep.rena.moran@house.mn

Jerry Newton (DFL)
575 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-5369
rep.jerry.newton@house.mn

Duane Quam (R)
323 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-9236
rep.duane.quam@house.mn

Joe Schomacker (R)
393 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-5505
rep.joe.schomacker@house.mn

Nick Zerwas (R)
303 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4237
rep.nick.zerwas@house.mn

Lyndon Carlson Sr. (DFL)
479 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4255
rep.lyndon.carlson@house.mn


Members of the Senate Committee on Taxes (to oppose SF 144 and SF 209): 

Rod Skoe (DFL) (Chair)
235 Capitol
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
651-296-4196 

Ann H. Rest (DFL) (Vice Chair)
235 Capitol
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
651-296-2889  

Julianne E. Ortman (R) (Republican Lead)
119 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155-1206
651-296-4837 
           
Thomas M. Bakk (DFL)
226 Capitol         
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
651-296-8881

Roger C. Chamberlain (R)
129 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155-1206
651-296-1253    

Kari Dziedzic (DFL)
320 Capitol
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
651-296-7809    
           
Chris A. Eaton (DFL)
321 Capitol
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
651-296-8869   
           
Lyle Koenen (DFL)
124 Capitol
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
651-296-5094
           
John Marty (DFL)
323 Capitol
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
651-296-5645      
           
Carla J. Nelson (R)
117 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155-1206
651-296-4848     

Roger J. Reinert (DFL)
325 Capitol
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
651-296-4188    
           
David H. Senjem (R)
113 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155-1206
651-296-3903     
           
Dave Thompson (R)
131 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155-1206
651-296-5252    

Originally posted: March 3, 2013

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