MOSES LAKE – A state bill that would tax vape products similar to cigarettes is drawing concerns from shop owners who say it could force them to shut down.
House Bill 1873 would add vape products to the list of taxable tobacco products in the state.
“What the House bill is doing is they are trying to pass a 95 percent vape tax through,” said Margo Ross, owner of Cloud 509 in Moses Lake. “Every year, Washington state vape shop owners fight this fight with lawmakers. Every year, the House and the Senate go after more taxes from vape shop owners and vape shop consumers.”
Ross and other vape shop owners across the state are expected to be in Olympia Tuesday to oppose the bill that Ross said could put her business in jeopardy. A public hearing in the House Committee on Finance is scheduled for Tuesday morning.
“It will close us down,” she said. “There are over 4,500 shops in Washington state that are all small business owners with employees. I have two shops and I have multiple employees. Not only does this support my family but it supports my employees and their families as well. It will hurt us, it will hurt my employees and in the long run, it’s going to hurt Washington state.”
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