An ordinance (Ordinance Serial No. 15-098) that would expand the borough’s tobacco tax to electronic cigarettes and vapor products will he heard tonight, September 15th, 2015 in the Borough Assembly.
Please make plans to attend this hearing.
For those unable to attend, please take a moment NOW to send an email and make phone calls to borough assembly members. We have provided talking points and contact information below.
Matanuska-Susitna - Borough Assembly
Public Opinion Form
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Comma delimited email list:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Barbara.Doty@matsugov.us, email@example.com
SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS
1). Ostensibly, taxes on traditional cigarettes are intended to discourage use. However, due to the fact that e-cigarettes and other smoke-free tobacco products are estimated to be 98 - 99% less harmful than smoking, discouraging use is counter to goals of reducing smoking rates.
2). Sin taxes are regressive. The smoking population, those switching to vaping, is disproportionately made up of poor and low-income people. Sin taxes place unnecessary burdens on an already financially challenged group.
3). Imposing a tax on these products will drive consumers to shop in neighboring cities that do not have a similar tax. Concurrently, consumers will be encouraged to shop online for better deals, sending even more money out of the community. Local businesses will not be able to compete, be forced to close their doors, and jobs will be lost. This is bad for the City and will result in less revenue, not more.
4). It is important to note that vapor products are already subject to a general sales tax.
5). Taxing e-cigarettes in a manner similar to how cigarettes are taxed sends a confusing and inaccurate message to would-be adopters that these two very different products present similar risks. The result of this message is that more people, those that otherwise would have switched to a smoke-free product, will be encouraged to continue smoking.