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New Jersey Considers A Crippling 75 Percent Tax Increase

New Jersey Considers A Crippling 75 Percent Tax Increase


New Jersey Considering A Crippling 75 Percent Tax Increase

At the state level, de facto prohibition of the vapor industry can be accomplished by raising taxes to an exorbitant degree. For the latest example, just look to lawmakers in my home state (and Breazy’s distribution base). New Jersey legislators have proposed a potentially debilitating 75 percent wholesale tax on all vapor products distributed to retailers within the state. This proposed legislation, called Assembly Bill No. 1586, is potentially very bad news for the vaping industry in the state and would impose a tax rate on e-cigarettes that's two and a half times higher than on combustible cigarettes despite convincing evidence vapor products are far less damaging than cigarettes.

New Jersey has been home to one of the more active legislatures when it comes to e-cig regulations, they've already raised the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products (vapor products included) to twenty-one, though currently they have no tax on e-cigarettes.

For context, Minnesota has the highest wholesale percentage tax on vape products at 95 percent and California has the lowest among states that have vapor-specific regulations at 27.3 percent. D.C.’s 65 percent tax is also notably high. Infamously, Pennsylvania was the first to go after vape shops, slamming vendors with a 40 percent tax on vape products, which drove hundreds of brick-and-mortar shops out of business. Recently, Utah scaled back an attempt at imposing an 86.5 percent tax in the state, deciding instead for a 29 percent tax. This came only after a raucous lobbying campaign and debate.

As for online distributors, laws say that taxes on products destined for in-state distribution are definitely due, but that deliveries to out-of-state locations shouldn't be subject to these taxes. However, larger companies may still be subject to so-called “Amazon Laws” for companies that don’t have any physical presence in the state.    

“Internet-based retailer that does not have a physical presence in many states where it sells merchandise," is how such an operation is described. "Under the default physical presence rule, this type of seller would not have to collect sales tax from customers in states where it has no physical presence. Since most customers don't pay the corresponding use tax, online sales by large online retailers like Amazon and Overstock.com constitute a significant lost tax revenue for many states. In response, some states have enacted Amazon laws to try to reduce this loss.”

The 75 percent tax proposal in New Jersey would apply to any e-cigarette defined as “a device that can deliver nicotine, nicotine and flavor, or other chemicals or substances to a person inhaling from the device that electronically or by other means vaporizes a liquid solution into an aerosol mist or vapor, simulating the act of tobacco smoking. An electronic cigarette includes but is not limited to any components, parts or accessories thereof which contain nicotine, such as cartridges and vials, and includes any delivery device components, whether or not sold separately[.]"

If you're a Garden State resident yourself, be on the lookout for action alerts from CASAA or your vape-advocacy organization of choice. Wait, you're not a member? Now's the time to sign up, regardless of where you're from!