LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — A proposal to tax vape products is already getting push-back from the vaping industry.
HB1787, filed by Rep. Lee Johnson, R-Greenwood, would impose a 30 percent tax on vaping products. This includes devices if purchased with e-liquids, the device by itself would not fall under this proposed tax.
Arkansas Vape Advocacy Alliance members and vape shop owner, Scout Stubbs, told KATV businesses in this state cannot afford this new tax.
“Most of the stores in Arkansas are small mom and pops so I think if our lawmakers would understand that most of us are small businesses, we can’t handle a tax like that,” said Stubbs. “It’s pretty scary, it’s a stand-alone tax increase so all it is is increasing taxes and going to general revenue fund and all it’s going to do is hurt small businesses in the state.”
Stubbs said a similar piece of legislation passed in Pennsylvania, which put people out of business.
“Most small businesses can’t absorb a tax like that, 30 percent of our business…if we have $100,000 of e-liquid on our shelves that means I have to pay $30,000 right away,” added Stubbs. “Then from here on out, I have to charge the customer an additional 30 percent.”
While the Arkansas Department of Health has not taken a stance on this bill, they said increasing the cost could be a deterrent.
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