Pennsylvania Legislators Considering Excise Tax on Ecigs!

Discussion in 'Legislation News' started by sonicdsl, Jun 26, 2014.

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  1. sonicdsl

    sonicdsl Reviewers Mgr
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    As Pennsylvania legislators scramble to fill a budget deficit of over $1 billion, a tax on electronic cigarettes is being considered. Rumors are that the State may seek to impose a punitive tax of up to 60% of wholesale price on all e-cigarette products, possibly including devices. Legislators are also considering taxing low-risk smokeless tobacco products at the same amount.

    Pennsylvania is supposed to have its budget passed by June 30th, but the situation is so difficult that negotiations may push on past that date. Legislators need to immediately begin hearing from vapers and users of reduced harm products so that we can stop this tax from becoming law.

    CASAA has issued two new CQ Roll Call Campaigns for Pennsylvania to express consumer opposition to a sin tax on e-cigarettes.

    Call to Action:
    CASAA: Call to Action! Pennsylvania Legislators Are Considering an Excise Tax on E-Cigarettes
     
  2. baseballmom

    baseballmom Ultra Member ECF Veteran

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    Done!!! Keep getting this around, we've got a lot of pa vapers to reach:)
     
  3. catlady60

    catlady60 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Done. We have to educate legislators on the vastly reduced risk of vaping.
     
  4. beebopnjazz

    beebopnjazz PIF FORUM MODERATOR Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Done! What did people expect (regarding tax revenue) when people quit or cut down on smoking? Their tax revenue is now short...... and the same people they've been sin-taxing to death over the years are to bear the brunt of the shortage.....again? Not like they used the tobacco settlement money for its intended purpose or anything......and yet, they want more - and people j.u.s.t. d.o.n.'t. s.e.e. i.t. Unbelievable!
     
  5. BooBoo888

    BooBoo888 Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Done! Hopefully they reconsider :vapor:
     
  6. DeeLeeKay

    DeeLeeKay Super Member ECF Veteran

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    Done! Had a nice long chat with my reps aide. He is totally for us and against the bill.
     
  7. Stosh

    Stosh Vaping Master ECF Veteran

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    legislators scramble to fill a budget deficit of over $1 billion, a tax on<fill in the blank>

    This sounds so much like what has been going on in New Jersey...let's see, we need more money, who should we tax that won't be able to vote us out of office.

    Bump it up and fight like heck!!
     
  8. TomCatt

    TomCatt Da Catt Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Letter submitted.
     
  9. Bill Godshall

    Bill Godshall Executive Director
    Smokefree Pennsylvania
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    Smokefree Pennsylvnia e-mailed the following letter to all PA Senators, and to PA House leaders and key House Cmte chairs (e-mail addresses are below the letter), and is mailing the same letters to legislative leaders today.


    Subject: If tobacco taxes are increased, please increase cigarette taxes, but reject OTP taxes

    If the General Assembly increases tobacco taxes in the budget, Smokefree Pennsylvania urges you to increase cigarette taxes, but oppose taxing Other Tobacco Products (OTP) or e-cigarettes.

    Cigarettes cause >99% of tobacco attributable morbidity, disability, mortality and healthcare costs; <1% are due to large cigars, pipe & smokeless tobacco combined. E-cigarettes have helped at least a million smokers quit smoking (as has smokeless tobacco, primarily by rural white males), and there’s no evidence e-cigarettes have caused any disease or hooked any nonsmoker.

    For fiscal accountability, taxpayer fairness and public health, tobacco tax revenue should reimburse government costs to treat diseases, disabilities, fires, etc. caused by their use. But tax rates should not be punitively excessive, and should never discourage smokers from switching to far less hazardous smokefree alternatives.

    Federal, state & local governments spend about $50 billion ($4/pack) annually treating cigarette diseases and disabilities, while cigarette smokers in PA pay $3.11/pack in excise taxes ($1.01 US, $1.60 PA, $.50 for MSA). Increasing PA’s cigarette tax by $.90/pack would make up this difference, reduce cigarette consumption by 11%, and generate about $390 million in new tax revenue. A $.40/pack tax increase would generate about $190 in new tax revenue.

    Although PA doesn’t tax large cigars, pipe or smokeless tobacco, OTP consumers in PA already reimburse the negligible government costs due to use of those products via federal excise taxes, which Congress increased in 2009. While Smokefree Pennsylvania advocated taxing OTP since 1994 and supported Gov. Rendell’s modest OTP tax proposal in 2009, we now oppose taxing OTP because those consumers already pay their fair share.

    As you may be aware, some anti-tobacco extremists have falsely claimed OTP and e-cigarettes are as hazardous as cigarettes, and are lobbying to classify, regulate and tax them like cigarettes.

    Many states (mostly in the South) unfairly force nonsmokers to subsidize government costs caused by cigarette smoking (via low taxes), while many other states (mostly in the Northeast) unfairly force tobacco users to subsidize unrelated government spending (via excessive cigarette and/or OTP taxes). We urge you to support fair taxes.

    On a related issue, PA needs to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and other new nicotine products to minors, and 39 other States have done so since 2009. Please support Senator Tim Solobay’s bill (SB 1055) to ban the sale of alternative nicotine products to minors.

    Since 1990, Smokefree Pennsylvania has advocated policies to ban smoking in workplaces, stop tobacco marketing to youth, hold cigarette companies accountable in courts, increase cigarette taxes, help smokers quit smoking, and inform smokers that smokefree tobacco and nicotine products are far less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes.

    Sincerely,

    Bill Godshall
    Executive Director
    1926 Monongahela Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15218
    412-351-5880
    BillGodshall@verizon.net



    PA House Leaders (GOP)
    Samuel Smith ssmith@pahousegop.com
    Mike Turzai mturzai@pahousegop.com
    Stan Saylor ssaylor@pahousegop.com
    Sandra Major smajor@pahousegop.com
    Mike Vereb mvereb@pahousegop.com
    William F Adolph, Jr. wadolph@pahousegop.com
    Richard Stevenson rstevens@pahousegop.com
    Dave Reed http://www.repdavereed.net/Contact.aspx

    PA House Minority Leaders (Democrats)
    Frank Dermody fdermody@pahouse.net
    Michael Hanna mhanna@pahouse.net
    Dan Frankel dfrankel@pahouse.net
    Ronald Waters rwaters@pahouse.net
    Joe Markosek jmarkosek@pahouse.net
    Neal Goodman ngoodman@pahouse.net
    Mike Sturla msturla@pahouse.net

    PA Senate Leaders (GOP)
    Joseph B Scarnati III jscarnati@pasen.gov
    Dominic Pileggi dpileggi@pasen.gov
    Patrick Browne pbrowne@pasen.gov
    John Gordner jgordner@pasen.gov
    Robert Robbins rrobbins@pasen.gov http://www.senatorrobbins.com/contact.htm
    Jake Corman jcorman@pasen.gov Senator Joe Scarnati | Contact Me
    Richard Alloway alloway@pasen.gov
    Edwin Erickson eerickson@pasen.gov Senator Ted Erickson | Contact Me

    PA Senate Minority Leaders (Democrats)
    Jay Costa costa@pasenate.com
    Anthony Williams williams@pasenate.com
    Richard Kasunic kasunic@pasenate.com
    Christine Tartaglione tartaglione@pasenate.com
    Vincent Hughes hughes@pasenate.com
    Jim Ferlo ferlo@pasenate.com
    Wayne Fontana fontana@pasenate.com
    Lisa Boscola boscola@pasenate.com

    Other PA Senators (GOP)
    David Argall dargall@pasen.gov
    Lisa Baker lbaker@pasen.gov
    Mike Brubaker mbrubaker@pasen.gov Senator Mike Brubaker | CONTACT ME
    John Eichelberger jeichelberger@pasen.gov
    Mike Folmer mfolmer@pasen.gov
    Stewart Greenleaf sgreenleaf@pasen.gov
    Scott Hutchinson shutchinson@pasen.gov
    Charles McIlhinney cmcilhinney@pasen.gov
    Bob Mensch bmensch@pasen.gov Senator Bob Mensch | CONTACT ME
    John Rafferty jrafferty@pasen.gov
    Lloyd Smucker lsmucker@pasen.gov
    Robert Tomlinson rtomlinson@pasen.gov Senator Robert Tomlinson | Serving Pennsylvania's 6th Senatorial District
    Patricia Vance pvance@pasen.gov
    Elder Vogel evogel@pasen.gov
    Randy Vulakovich rvulakovich@pahousegop.com
    Scott Wagner swagner@pasen.gov Senator Scott Wagner | Contact
    Kim Ward kward@pasen.gov Senator Kim Ward | Serving Pennsylvania's 39th District
    Donald White dwhite@pasen.gov
    Gene Yaw gyaw@pasen.gov

    Other PA Senators (Democrats)
    John Blake blake@pasenate.com
    James Brewster brewster@pasenate.com
    Andrew Dinniman Contact Us
    Lawrence Farnese farnese@pasenate.com
    Daylin Leach leach@pasenate.com
    Judith Sch.... sch....@pasenate.com
    Matt Smith msmith@pasenate.com
    Tim Solobay solobay@pasenate.com
    Mike Stack stack@pasenate.com
    Rob Teplitz rteplitz@pasenate.com Contact
    Leanna Washington washington@pasenate.com
    Sean Wiley swiley@pasenate.com Contact
    John Wozniak wozniak@pasenate.com
    John Yudichak yudichak@pasenate.com

    Other PA Reps (GOP)
    Matthew Baker mbaker@pahousegop.com
    Kerry Benninghoff kbenning@pahousegop.com
    Paul Clymer pclymer@pahousegop.com
    Gene DiGirolamo gdigirol@pahousegop.com
    Robert Godshall rgodshal@pahousegop.com
    John Maher jmaher@pahousegop.com
    Daryl Metcalfe dmetcalf@pahousegop.com
    Ron Miller rmiller@pahousegop.com
    Chris Ross cross@pahousegop.com
    Mario Scavello mscavell@pahousegop.com

    Other PA House Reps (Democrat)
    Paul Costa pcosta@pahouse.net
     
  10. Bill Godshall

    Bill Godshall Executive Director
    Smokefree Pennsylvania
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    Please note that PA Constitution requires the state budget to done by June 30th (although it often takes until July 1, 2 or 3 for the General Assembly to negotiate and enact the budget). PA's budget is typically negotiated by the Governor and the R & D leaders of the House and Senate (with rank and file legislators typically having little input).

    During the budget discussions (so far) Republican PA Governor Corbett and Republican controlled House leadership have staunchly opposed any new or increased taxes, while the Republican controlled Senate leaders have said they might be open to some new taxes (with several endorsing a Marcellus Shale drilling tax).

    Meanwhile, minority Democrat Senate leaders have been pushing for a Marcellus Shale drilling tax, increased cigarette taxes and taxes on Other Tobacco Products (perhaps including e-cigs), as have minority Democrat House leaders.

    At least one House Republican (Gene DiGirolamo) has called for a tax on OTP and e-cigs. Although it appears unlikely that e-cigs will be included in the new budget, anything could happen during the budget negotiations in the next several days or week in Harrisburg.

    It would be helpful for PA vapers, vape shop owners and other interested folks to contact their State Rep and Senator during next several days (especially if they are legislative leaders) urging them to oppose taxing e-cigs and also urging them to support Sen. Solobay's bill (SB 1055) that would ban e-cig sales to minors.

    Contact info for all PA legislators can be found at:
    http://www.legis.state.pa.us/

    PA residents can find their PA Senator and Rep at
    http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/
     
  11. Bill Godshall

    Bill Godshall Executive Director
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    Looks like Gov Corbett and PA House Republican leaders have secured enough votes from PA Senate Republicans to pass a budget that doesn't increase any taxes, which isn't pleasing the Senate Democrats who proposed taxing Marcellus Shale drilling, increasing cigarette taxes, and taxing OTP (and perhaps e-cigs).

    Down to the wire: State lawmakers take up budget again as deadline looms - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Pa. lawmakers punch in late for final budget push: Monday Morning Coffee | PennLive.com
    GOP's patchwork $29.1B budget speeds toward votes - LancasterOnline: Pennsylvania
    http://watchdog.org/156946/budget-corbett-pennsylvania/

    Interestingly, last night Corbett offered a pension reform deal to Philly Democrats to let Philly impose a $2/pack cigarette tax (but not a statewide cigarette tax). But the House and Senate Dems quickly rejected Corbett's offer.
    http://blog.pennlive.com/capitol-notebook/2014/06/pension_reform_what_pension_re_1.html#incart_river
     
  12. Bill Godshall

    Bill Godshall Executive Director
    Smokefree Pennsylvania
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    I just received the following letter from my PA Senator, Jay Costa, who is in the PA Democratic Senate leadership and who has proposed taxing OTP (perhaps including e-cigs). Instead of actually reading or comprehending my letter, it appears that Jay Costa and/or his staff simply (and falsely) presumed my letter opposed increasing cigarette taxes. Notice how Costa's canned letter (that he presumably sent to smokers who opposed increasing cigarette taxes) attempted to generate support for his proposal to tax OTP.


     
  13. Kent C

    Kent C ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I assume you put your group's name, etc. in the letter. Wow.... if you can't get through to them, others have little chance... although I'm guessing they do count the 'for and against'... I know they used to.
     
  14. rothenbj

    rothenbj Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Obviously Senator Costa is only concerned with continuing to unfairly tax anyone who uses any tobacco product, including e cigs, regardless of the health risk involved. I'd be willing to bet he'll be a lot less likely to go after sugary sodas and other products that are leading to the "obesity epidemic. Why? Because now you start losing votes.
     
  15. Bill Godshall

    Bill Godshall Executive Director
    Smokefree Pennsylvania
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    Last night, after a bitterly partisan debate, the PA House passed the budget bill approved earlier in the evening by the Senate, which contains no new taxes.

    But late last night, Gov. Corbett said he wouldn't sign the budget because it didn't resolve the state employee pension problem. Please note that on Sunday evening Corbett offered to support a proposal (apparently by Philly Mayor Michael Nutter) to let Philly impose a $2/pack tax on cigarettes as part of a pension deal. Although PA House and Senate Dems rejected Corbett's proposal and the budget bill didn't include the $2/pack cigarette tax for Philly, a deal was made between Dems and Republicans to include the Philly cigarette tax proposal (which hopefully won't apply to OTP or e-cigs) in a related bill that could be voted on today .

    Corbett won't sign Pa. no-tax budget yet


    Gov. Tom Corbett remains undecided on whether he will veto budget - Morning Call

     
  16. Bill Godshall

    Bill Godshall Executive Director
    Smokefree Pennsylvania
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  17. catlady60

    catlady60 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    What does OTP mean?
     
  18. rothenbj

    rothenbj Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Other tobacco products.
     
  19. Bill Godshall

    Bill Godshall Executive Director
    Smokefree Pennsylvania
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  20. Bill Godshall

    Bill Godshall Executive Director
    Smokefree Pennsylvania
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