Final consideration of The District’s Budget is set for Tuesday, June 16th. The excessive and unjustifiable tax on vapor products is STILL in the budget.
There are a couple of points to know about this tax:
- Vapor products will misleadingly be taxed at the same rate as combustible cigarettes -- 70% wholesale.
- The language makes no distinction between the Cigarette Tax versus the Vapor Tax. This means that, in the future, when (not if) the City Council decides to raise the cigarette tax, the tax on vapor products will rise along with it.
At this time, the budget is far enough along in the process that there is only one person who has significant influence over the outcome. Please take a moment now to call and email Chairman Phil Mendelson and urge him to remove the vapor products tax. We have provided his contact information below.
Even if you’ve already participated in our previous updates, please take action again. We have provided a fully editable, pre-written email that you are encouraged to “customize” with your personal story about how vaping has helped you. It is imperative that the chairman hears about your success stories.
We have updated the instructions for testifying at the hearing on Friday, May 8th, 10:00 AM. If you have not already sent a message to DC City Councilors, please do so now.
- Those wishing to testify must call the Committee of the Whole office at 202-724-8196 to register as a witness. Please do this as soon as possible and no later than by Wednesday, May 6th.
- Time allotted to speak/testify: 3 minutes (but written testimony can be longer).
- The record remains open for only two days for submission of written testimony.
- Witnesses can submit a copy of written testimony by Thursday, May 7th to:
Nyasha Smith, Secretary to the Council of the District of Columbia
Suite 5, Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Av NW
Washington, DC 20004
- If a witness does not provide a copy of the written testimony to the Secretary's Office the day before the Hearing but wishes to have written testimony as part of the record, he or she must bring 15 copies with them to the Hearing.
- To observe: Seats are available in the Council Chamber for interested parties and visitors to observe the proceedings. We have been told that signs/posters are not allowed. (Even if you are not planning to testify, your presence is encouraged as it demonstrates the large number of people affected by and engaged in this issue. As a sign of respect, please refrain from vaping in the capitol building. Please also dress accordingly -- no sweatpants and t-shirts.)
Please also take a moment to call City Council members to express opposition to extra taxes on vapor products.
DC - City Council
Mary M. Cheh
(Orignal Post - 04.16.15)
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has introduced the city’s budget for 2016. The proposal includes the “Vapor Product Amendment Act of 2015” which would tax e-cigarettes at the same rate as other tobacco products which is an unjustifiable 70% of wholesale.
Please take action NOW by sending an email to city council members urging them to remove this harmful tax from the budget.
Please also make plans to attend this hearing*:
Council Chamber - Room 500
*See instructions as updated 4-30-15 above.
Persons wishing to testify should email committee staff persons to ask that your name be added to the list.
Sarina Loy (email@example.com, 202-724-8058) Brian McClure (firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-724-8112)
(Even if you are not planning to testify, your presence is encouraged as it demonstrates the large number of people affected by and engaged in this issue. As a sign of respect, please refrain from vaping in the capitol building. Please also dress accordingly -- no sweatpants and t-shirts.)
(Writing Tip #1) If you have a lot to say, please craft your email in a separate word doc and then copy/paste it into the field provided. If you take too long, they system will time out and you will lose your work.(Writing Tip #2) Although we've provided a prewritten email with compelling talking points, we would strongly encourage you to edit the email because personalized communications to legislators are far more persuasive than form letters. At a minimum, PLEASE INSERT YOUR PERSONAL STORY (just a few sentences) in the text of your email.