Tom Hucker suggests doubling the tax on digital cigarettes to 60%

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Tom Hucker suggests doubling the tax on electronic cigarettes to 60%

Tom Hucker, President of Montgomery County Council

Photo from Montgomery County

Montgomery County’s electronic cigarette excise tax could double under a proposed increase.

Council Chairman Tom Hucker led a resolution presented at a council meeting on Tuesday to double the current tax rate of 30% on wholesale prices for electronic cigarette products to 60%.

The resolution, if adopted, would take effect on July 1st.

“In Montgomery County, we are often leaders in public health and we are told that our tax was the nation’s first tax on vaping products. … I’m glad that our political leadership here has been insightful for other districts, ”said Hucker. “This program has been a success in increasing revenue for our public health programs to offset the costs to our taxpayers associated with e-cigarette and tobacco use.”

A public hearing on the resolution is scheduled for April 27 at 1:30 p.m.

The council approved the tax rate of 30% in 2015.

While it was endorsed by public health and smoking bans advocates, it was firmly opposed by local e-cigarette retailers and Bruce Bereano, who represents the Maryland Association of Tobacco and Candy Distributors.

At a public hearing on the tax, Bereano said that only the state has the legal authority to tax tobacco products.

Eric Gally, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society, said at the 2015 hearing that the tax would help discourage children from being “initiated” into the products.

Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at briana.adhikusuma@bethesdamagazine.com.