Oregon Lawmakers Look at New E-Cigarette Tax
Great River, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/03/2013 -- Oregon Legislature is debating taxing electronic cigarettes in the state. The State Department of Revenue brought the tax idea to the House and Senate committees. Democratic Rep. Phil Barnhart of Eugene, the chairman of the House Revenue Committee, wants the tax for the electronic cigarette device to be considered due to the fact that they contain nicotine.
"I'm always interested in keeping drugs away from kids and generating some money," Barnhart said.
Many do not share that opinion and feel that lawmakers should await further research and regulation before the discussion of taxing the device on a state level. Among these opinions are Republican Rep. Cliff Bentz of Ontario. "If there's a thought that someday we might tax these things as we do cigarettes, it would seem odd that we would disincentivize people from moving away from something that's dangerous to something that's less so," said Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario.
Because electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco they do not fall under the tobacco taxation laws that are in 49 states, which includes Oregon. There is no clear plan of action if the electronic cigarette was taxed on how the state would plan on carrying it out since all electronic cigarettes contain different amounts of nicotine.
Clearette urges lawmakers to hold off on taxing this emerging product until proper time has passed to get a better understanding of where consumers stand wit electronic cigarettes, and give time for the regulators to set appropriate regulations on a product designed to help traditional smokers quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.
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