Taxing the e-cigarettes - KMSP-TV

Taxing the e-cigarettes

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(WJBK) - You've heard the phrase "talk something to death." Turns out in the legislative arena and the attempt to ban minors from using E-Cigs, you can apparently talk something to life, too.

Over a month ago the house and senate decided minors should not be exposed to these new-fangled electronic cigarettes which are now all the rage. Part of the reasoning was, the kids could get hook on them and next thing you know they are puffing away on regular smokes.

If this is not an apple pie and motherhood issue what the heck is?

However throughout the debate sponsors kept hearing whispers about the governor and his health department wanting the legislation but with a string attached. Well actually not a string but a tax.

Since it is a tobacco product, their reasoning went, tax it like one seemed to be the signal from the boss governor and his right hand health guy Jim Havemen. Some lawmakers agreed but most, running in a primary, wanted to stay at arms length from anything that resembled a tax hike and slapping a tax on E-Cigs which just that.

Stalemate.

The governor hinted broadly at a veto if the senate sent him the bill.

The Senate GOP leader was fixing to send it to see what might happened, but Sen. Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) advised the media he wanted one more chat with the governor before doing it.

They talked but nobody really covered the aftermath and the bill has sat quietly in the Senate secretary's office going nowhere fast.

Until now.

The word is you can look for this bill to be modified with a tax hike but not at the same level of regular tobacco which was the first option put forth.

That figure was way too high according to one player but a smaller number could get the job done.

The various special interest groups are now getting a peak at all this and within two weeks, viola, it should be up for another vote following this "significant progress" as they talk the ban, once on life-support, back to life.



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