Like many other states, Ohio is now looking at the new vaping industry with an appetite for tax revenues. However, most press for something straight-forward like a straight tax percentage or a flat tax per device. Ohio’s governor, on the other hand, is seeking a tax explicitly on vaping liquids based on the number of milliliters of liquid. Estimates thus far suggest that the tax will work out to roughly a 150 to 170% tax on e-liquid.
This is one of several tax hikes governor John Kasich is aiming to implement in order to make up for several personal and business income tax reductions. This appears simply to shift a chunk of tax burden from the wealthy (and politically supportive) onto smaller, less defensible groups.
According to the Heartland Institute, a 15 milliliter bottle of e-liquid which normally costs just shy of $11 would cost nearly $28 if subject to the tax.
Already, there are dissenters in the debate arguing against the tax. In addition to hurting those that managed to escape smoking with higher prices, it may also send many back to smoking or keep them from leaving in the first place. There is also a strong likelihood that a tax such as this will only encourage and embolden a black market for the products within the state.
If you would like to reach out to Governor Kasich, here’s the contact information for his office:
Governor John Kasich
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-6117
Phone: (614) 466-3555
Or you can send a message from here. Please do remember that you represent more than yourself. Being nasty or vile doesn’t really help things.
This is actually a little unusual. In the past, electronic cigarettes and vaping has been a fairly partisan fight. Democrats often fight against them — mostly harkening to the days of corrupt tobacco tactics — while Republicans fight for individual freedom to vape. Kasich is a republican. But like many politicians, it is possible he simply seeks a way to buy credit with the masses at the cost of a wound inflicted on a smaller group. That or he just seeks to balance his state’s check book and is hoping this will be an easy source of income.