Update - 01.24.16
On Thursday, January 21st, 2016, the status of LD 973 was updated to “Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD).” Although the state legislature site explicitly lists this bill as “dead,” there is always a chance that it comes back to the table. Generally speaking, no bill is dead until the session has ended. Moreover, the issue of taxing vapor products will be on the minds of lawmakers for many years to come.
Although our engagement for LD 973 has expired, Maine residents are encouraged to continue reaching out to lawmakers to help educate them about vapor products, the public health benefit of Tobacco Harm Reduction Policies, and the damage that punitive taxes will have on consumer choice and access to low-risk, smoke-free alternatives to smoking.
Update - 01.11.16
The hearing scheduled for Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 in the Taxation Committee has been canceled. At this time, LD 973 (HP 670) has not been rescheduled. We will update this call to action as we receive more details.
In the meantime, please take this opportunity to reach out to your lawmakers and help educate them about the benefits of supporting good tobacco harm reduction policies.
Update - 01.10.16
It has come to CASAA’s attention that HP670 has been removed from the Taxation Committee’s meeting agenda for Wednesday, January 13th. However, the Maine Legislature website still shows the bill as scheduled for a hearing.
If and when the website is updated, we will provide more details here. Until that time, advocates are encouraged to connect with lawmakers and urge them to oppose any effort to enact taxes on vapor products in the state of Maine.
Original Post - 01.06.16
A bill -- LD 973 (HP 670) -- which would tax vapor products at a rate similar to combustible cigarettes has been scheduled for a public hearing.
Please take a moment now to send a message to your lawmakers urging them to oppose this unjustifiable tax proposal!
Please make plans to attend this hearing.
Joint Committee on Taxation
H 670 would deceptively redefine “cigarette” to include an electronic cigarette and treat every 18 mg of nicotine as one cigarette for tax purposes. We have provided a table below to illustrate the impact of this tax on consumers. Make no mistake: This equivalency tax is completely unjustified given the low risk of vapor products when compared to smoking.
Although a $1.00 or $2.00 tax might not sound as high as other proposals we’ve heard, vapor consumers in Maine should be aware that once this tax is enacted, it will be raised every couple of years. To make matters worse, any hike in the cigarette tax will automatically result in the e-cigarette tax going up!
Please take this opportunity now to send a message opposing this bill.
This is a Joint Committee, so the January 13th hearing will likely be your ONLY opportunity to publicly testify against this tax bill.
Please share this link on social media and with friends and family: