CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Members of the vaping industry are outraged at the tax amendment that was passed last week by the Ohio Senate and is just a couple of steps away from becoming a reality.
The Senate budget bill, that included the new vape tax, will be negotiated with the Ohio House this week.
If no changes are made, the House will vote on the budget and send it to Governor Mike DeWine to be signed.
All of that work needs to be done quickly, before legislators recess for the summer on June 30.
The original proposal was for a 17% tax on all vape products.
When the long list of amendments was released, and passed a day later, the new tax was one cent for every .1ML of liquid sold.
Vape liquid, or juice, is what’s vaporized to deliver nicotine.
“This new tax will have a devastating effect on the stand alone vape stores as they will have to raise prices to cover the increases in the wholesale due to the tax, and shut many, if not all, down,” James Jarivs said, who is the head of the Ohio Vape Trade Association (OHVTA).
Jarivs said a 120ML bottle of vape juice retails for around $25.
A one cent tax on every .1ML would equal $12, which is a 50% tax.
By comparison, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes in Ohio is $6.10, which includes a $1.60 state tax, and sales tax of $0.37 putting the tax rate at 32%.
“Due to the increases in retail, it will also more than likely push people back to combustible tobacco (cigarettes) or to online,” Jarvis said.
If consumers turn to the internet to buy vape juice, online companies are supposed to charge Ohio taxes but Jarvis claims most won’t.
The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee is Republican Senator Matt Dolan, who represents many of Cuyahoga County’s suburbs.
I have asked Sen. Dolan to explain the sizable increase from the 17% proposal, and explain where the tax will be used and have not heard back.