MTPR

Ron Marshall

Proposed E-Cig Tax Draws Opposition

Jan 22, 2019
Senate Bill 96 proposes a 50-percent tax on vaping products.
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HELENA — Opponents are lining up against a proposed 50-percent tax on vaping products.

Twelve people testified against Senate Bill 96 on Tuesday. They argued e-cigarettes have nicotine, but they don’t have tobacco and shouldn’t be taxed like tobacco. Robert Story, executive director of the Montana Taxpayers Association, said taxing vapes is just putting a sales tax onto a specific retail item.

A ballot initiative group hoping to generate new state revenue to fund Medicaid expansion services has been approved to start gathering signatures for an initiative raising taxes on tobacco and e-cigarettes.
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A proposal to increase tobacco taxes, which would also impose Montana's first ever tax on vapor and e-cigarettes got its first debate in the Senate Monday morning. The bill introduced by Helena Democrat Mary Caferro calls for a $1.50 tax increase on a pack of cigarettes, and at least that much on standard cans of chew. It also proposes 24 percent tax increase on the wholesale price of all tobacco products, including cigarettes and snuff.