Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Call to Action! South Carolina Bill to Tax E-Cigarettes And More -- H. 4074 (UPDATED -- Bill Tabled)

UPDATE (5/28/2013):  Today the South Carolina House Ways & Means Committee met and held a vote on H. 4074.  The committee voted to table the bill, which means they set it aside for consideration at a later date.  South Carolina's 2013 legislative session will wrap in approximately one week, and H. 4074 will carry over to 2014, meaning it will still come back before the House Ways & Means Committee in 2014.

If you are from South Carolina, please be sure to contact your representative and senator in the South Carolina Legislature and tell them you do not want the unnecessary tax hike in H. 4074 to become law. 

 [full text] [legislative tracking]

If enacted, this bill would:

  • Tax sales of e-cigarette products containing nicotine ("vapor products") at 5 cents per milliliter of liquid.
  • Require e-cigarette retailers who import nicotine-containing products from other states to obtain a license to sell tobacco products and abide by lengthy regulations.  
  • Make it a criminal offense for consumers to buy an untaxed e-cigarettes online unless they file a tax return with the South Carolina Department of Revenue by the 20th of each month. 

As recently exposed on the Daily Caller by Matthew Bandyk, bills like H. 4074 are a part of a concerted strategy by tobacco company R.J. Reynolds (RJR) to tax sales of electronic cigarettes.  RJR has its lobbyist(s) out everyday in South Carolina campaigning for this tax, so a swift and heavy response is needed from South Carolina vapers to stop this bill!

If you are from South Carolina, please also contact your representative and senator in the South Carolina Legislature and tell them that you're an e-cigarette user, you vote, and you don't want the unnecessary tax hike in H. 4074 to become law. 

Please contact the members of the South Carolina House Ways & Means Committee below:

1. Please vote NO on H 4074, which would hike taxes on tens of thousands of South Carolina e-cigarette users and treat e-cigarettes like a tobacco product by requiring tobacco licenses.  Alternatively, amend the bill to clarify that there shall be no excise tax on "vapor products,"  and remove all references to "vapor products" in the licensing sections of the bill.

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life.

3. Explain that H 4074's provision that claims to cap the "vapor product" tax at 10% the excise tax levied on cigarettes is legislative fiction. In fact, if H 4074 is passed, you could end up paying an additional $1.50 each time you purchase a 30 ml bottle of liquid. 

4. Note that South Carolina citizens and businesses do not support new taxes and burdensome regulations. Further explain that imposing these laws on e-cigarette sales only serves to protect cigarette markets and will hurt small businesses in South Carolina. 

5. Explain that your biggest concern about this legislation is that it is a part of a demonstrated pattern by R.J. Reynolds to get bills introduced in state legislatures (including RI, NC, and OK) that seek to give the e-cigarette industry to large tobacco companies. The three major tobacco companies -- Philip Morris (PM), Reynolds, and Lorillard -- already have contracts with all licensed tobacco retailers for sales, prime display shelf space, discounts, advertisements and promotions -- while very few e-cigarette companies do. 

6. Direct them to the CASAA.org website for more information.


Members of the South Carolina House Ways & Means Committee 

Contacting members of the South Carolina Legislature is difficult because each message must be sent via webform.  Please take the time to contact the members below to express your opposition.  Please do not hesitate to call the members listed, especially if you are in South Carolina and they represent you or in a nearby district.  If you get an answering machine, leave a civil message encouraging them to vote NO on H. 4074 and note some of the reasons listed above.

(H) Indicates home address and telephone numbers.
(C) Indicates Columbia address and telephone numbers (best way to reach out)

Rep. W. Brian White (R) [Committee Chairman] *BILL SPONSOR*
Dist. No. 6 – Anderson Co.
(H) PO Box 970, Anderson, 29622
Bus.: (864) 260-4025
(C) 525 Blatt Bldg.Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3144
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1911363407/

Rep. Harry B. "Chip" Limehouse, III (R) [Committee 1st Vice-Chair)
Dist. No. 110 - Charleston County
(H) 22 Menotti St. Charleston, 29401
Bus.: (843) 577-6242 / Home: (843) 577-6242
(C) 326C Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-2977 / Home: (803) 252-0845
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1089772596

Rep. Michael A. Pitts (R) [Committee 2nd Vice-Chair) *BILL SPONSOR*
Dist. No. 14 - Greenwood & Laurens Counties
(H) 372 Bucks Point Rd. Laurens, 29360
Bus.: (864) 681-0238 / Home: (864) 923-2925
(C) 327C Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-2830
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1481533914

Rep. J. Roland Smith (R) [Committee 3rd Vice-Chair] *BILL SPONSOR*
Dist. No. 84 - Aiken County
(H) 183 Edgar St. Warrenville, 29851
Bus.: (803) 593-8987 / Home: (803) 593-2359
(C) 522B Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3115
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1718181612

Rep. Merita A. "Rita" Allison (R) *BILL SPONSOR* (5/14/13 -- No longer a sponsor!)
Dist. No. 36 - Greenville & Spartanburg Counties
(H) P.O. Box 93 Lyman, 29365
Bus.: (864) 909-1092 / HOme: (864) 439-6255
(C) 402C Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 212-6788
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=15909089

Rep. Liston D. Barfield (R)
Dist. No. 58 - Horry County
(H) P.O. Box 1734 Conway, 29528
Bus.: (843) 365-2049 / Home: (843) 365-2049
(C) 503A Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3107 / Home: (803) 771-8711
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=109090896

Rep. William "Bill" Clyburn (D)
Dist. No. 82 - Aiken, Edgefield & Saluda Counties
(H) 664 Edrie St. Aiken, 29801
Home: (803) 649-6167
(C) 416C Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3033
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=363636320

Rep. Tracy R. Edge (R)
Dist. No. 104 - Horry County
(H) P.O. Box 2095 Myrtle Beach, 29578
Bus.: (843) 448-5123 / Home: (843) 361-2827
(C) 503B Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3013
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=521590847

Rep. William G. "Bill" Herbkersman (R) *BILL SPONSOR*
Dist. No. 118 - Beaufort & Jasper Counties
(H) 896 May River Rd. Bluffton, 29910-5833
Bus.: (843) 757-7900 / Home: (843) 757-5424
(C) 308B Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3063
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=832954446

Rep. Chip Huggins (R)
Dist. No. 85 - Lexington County
(H) 308 Wayworth Court Columbia, 29212
Bus.: (803) 732-2000 / Home: (803) 732-4418
(C) 323B Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-2971 / Cellphone: (803) 331-8468
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=897727165

Rep. James H. Merrill (R)
Dist. No. 99 - Berkeley & Charleston Counties
(H) 2401 Daniel Island Dr. Charleston, 29492
Bus.: (843) 849-7307 / Home: (843) 849-7306
(C) 308C Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3072
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1323863478

Rep. Harry L. Ott, Jr. (D) *BILL SPONSOR*
Dist. No. 93 - Calhoun, Lexington & Orangeburg Counties
(H) 141 Ott Farm Trail St. Matthews, 29135
Home: (803) 874-1042
(C) 335B Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-2998
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1432954374

Rep. B. R. Skelton (R)
Dist. No. 3 - Pickens County
(H) 2962 Walhalla Hwy. Six Mile, 29682
Home: (864) 868-3495
(C) 418C Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3036 / Home: (864) 868-3495
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1698579342

Rep. Garry R. Smith (R)
Dist. No. 27 - Greenville County
(H) 210 Foxhound Rd. Simpsonville, 29680
Bus.: (864) 963-0337 / Home: (864) 963-0337
(C) 534 Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3141
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1703977069

Rep. William R. "Bill" Whitmire (R)
Dist. No. 1 - Oconee County
(H) P.O. Box 157 Walhalla, 29691
Bus.: (864) 638-2970 / Home: (864) 638-2970
(C) 436C Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3068
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1914204316

Rep. J. Roland Smith (R)
Dist. No. 84 - Aiken County
(H) 183 Edgar St. Warrenville, 29851
Bus.: (803) 593-8987 / Home: (803) 593-2359
(C) 522B Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3115
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1718181612

Rep. Michael A. "Mike" Anthony (D)
Dist. No. 42 - Laurens & Union Counties
(H) 322 Mt. Vernon Rd. Union, 29379
Home: (864) 427-3023
(C) 432D Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3060
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=38636359

Rep. Kenneth A. "Kenny" Bingham (R) *BILL SPONSOR*
Dist. No. 89 - Lexington County
(H) P.O. Box 2025 Cayce, 29171
Bus.: (803) 796-9300 / Home: (803) 796-3582
(C) 519B Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3114
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=143181801

Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D) *BILL SPONSOR*
Dist. No. 66 - Orangeburg County
(H) 4188 Five Chop Rd. Orangeburg, 29115
Bus.: (803) 534-2448 / Home: (803) 531-1257
(C) 309C Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-2809
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=372727228

Rep. Jackie E. "Coach" Hayes (D)
Dist. No. 55 - Darlington, Dillon, Horry & Marlboro Counties
(H) 240 Bermuda Rd. Dillon, 29536
Bus.: (843) 841-3679 / Home: (843) 774-6125
(C) 333D Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3099
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=802272631

Rep. Lonnie Hosey (D)
Dist. No. 91 - Allendale, Barnwell & Orangeburg Counties
(H) P.O. Box 423 Barnwell, 29812
Home: (803) 259-1178
(C) 404B Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-2829
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=874999895

Rep. Dwight A. Loftis (R)
Dist. No. 19 - Greenville County
(H) P.O. Box 14784 Greenville, 29610
Home: (864) 834-5760
(C) 522C Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3101
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1111363503

Rep. Joseph H. "Joe" Neal (D)
Dist. No. 70 - Richland & Sumter Counties
(H) P.O. Box 5 Hopkins, 29061
Home: (803) 776-0353
(C) 309B Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Home: (803) 734-2804
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1402272559

Rep. J. Gary Simrill (R) *BILL SPONSOR*
Dist. No. 46 - York County
(H) 1515 Alexander Rd. Rock Hill, 29732
Bus.: (803) 366-0445 / Home: (803) 328-8089
(C) 518C Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3040
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1697727069

Rep. G. Murrell Smith, Jr. (R) *BILL SPONSOR*
District 67 - Sumter County
(H) P.O. Box 580 Sumter, 29151
Bus.: (803) 778-2471 / Home:(803) 469-4416
(C) 420B Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3042
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1703408887

Leonidas E. "Leon" Stavrinakis (D)
District 119 - Charleston County
(H) P.O. Box 30099 Charleston, 29417
Bus.: (843) 724-1060 / Home: (843) 573-0491
(C) 420C Blatt Bldg. Columbia, 29201
Bus.: (803) 734-3039
Contact: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=1747727063

5 comments:

Robert Rowand said...

I have quit smoking after 21 years, because of the e-cig. I feel better and I don't smell like an ash tray anymore please oppose the H. 4074 bill thanks

James de Mattos said...

I implore my fellow South-Carolinians to help vote! We are one of the most outspoken states when it comes to fighting for our rights -- it's time to change that! I've sent an individual email to every representative in SC (not just my representative that covers the area I live in, Greenville/Spartanburg.) This tax will make so many on-line sites we love to order from unavailable until they purchase the right to sell to SC -- imagine all the great sites that won't bother! Your favorite flavors? Get ready to not taste them again for a few months, if ever again!

Get involved in your local politics. Tell everyone you know about this. It'll save our wallets, and most importantly, our lungs. Help clean up SC. Thanks, all! SPREAD THE WORD! Contact your legislators!

Laughter House said...

Contact them all at once here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=HMEMBERS

Selina said...

I wrote to all representatives here http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=HMEMBERS and said: I was a cigarette smoker for over 30 years. I tried everything imaginable to quit smoking cigarettes. Nothing ever worked for me, until I started using vaping products (or eCigarettes). I haven't touched a cigarette in 21 days now, thanks to vaping products. Many South Carolina citizens are finally able to walk away from the poison of regular cigarettes thanks to ecigarettes. Taxing vaping/eCigarette products is counter productive to the Quit Smoking campaign being waged across this state and this country.

Please vote NO on H 4074, which would hike taxes on tens of thousands of South Carolina e-cigarette users and treat e-cigarettes like a tobacco product by requiring tobacco licenses. Alternatively, amend the bill to clarify that there shall be no excise tax on "vapor products," and remove all references to "vapor products" in the licensing sections of the bill. Citizens of South Carolina do NOT support any new taxes and most certainly do NOT support a bill that further targets a specific group of people.

VOTE NO ON H4074 and allow the former smokers of this great state to continue to use ecigarettes in peace, in our efforts to finally break free from regular cigarettes. I personally use far less nicotine now and have a plan to step down in how much I use until I'm completely free. Help us get free by refusing to tax ecigarette products.

Thank you for your time and consideration for my concerns.

Tracey Colby said...

Hi everyone,
I have been a smoker for over 30 years. I started vaping 3 months ago & have not touched a "regular" cigarette in 2 weeks now. I have more energy, I can take long walks now which I couldn't do before without having to take breaks because I was out of breath.

I want to be able to keep vaping until I am no longer in need of the nicotine. If the H4074 bill is passed, I and everyone out there who vape will be taxed up the "A" to be able to keep vaping. There are also a lot of cities out there that are banning it all together. Do you want this? If not PLEASE write to all of our representatives & tell them to vote "NO" on the H 4074 bill. All you have to do is go to this link http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=HMEMBERS and write to all of our representatives.
PLEASE PLEASE write to them! Don't let your voice be unheard!