Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
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After defeating the attempts of vapor industry taxation during the 2013 and 2015 legislative session, a promise was made by Representative Paul Ray that it was not the end and the taxation would return. We now have the unfortunate duty to report that the Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee will be discussing this taxation at their upcoming legislative committee hearing.
Hearing Details: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 • 2:30 p.m. • Room 445, Main State Capitol building
The Utah Smoke Free Association will be at the hearing with our lobbying team to oppose any and all attempts to penalize our industry with an excise (sin) tax. We ask that you please email and call the members of the committee requesting that they oppose this attack on vapor products, which are a scientifically documented reduced-risk substitute for smoking. Please contact the members of the interim committee via email, twitter (where available) and phone and ask them to reject any attempt to apply excise taxes on products that Utah residents are using to remain tobacco & smoke-free.
We also encourage you to reach out to your individual legislative representatives and ask for their support in opposing all attempts to apply a punitive tax against you as a voter. If you don’t know who represents you, you can locate them here: http://le.utah.gov/GIS/findDistrict.jsp
Semicolon separated email list: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Comma separated email list: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Twitter List (please tag @utsmokefree in all tweets if room allows)
Suggested talking points:
- Vapor products are already taxed as consumer products and most public policy experts believe that raising the cost of vapor products would create a disincentive for smokers to transition to these tobacco-free and smoke-free products.
- In the last 5 years, vapor products have helped an estimated 15,000 adult Utah smokers successfully switch to a scientifically documented less harmful and smoke-free alternative. Increasing the costs of products that stand to improve these peoples’ health risks re-exposing thousands of Utah’s children back to second hand smoke exposure which flies in the face of the public health initiatives.
- Utah is recognized as one of the best places to start a business and Vapor specialty retailers and manufacturers occupy an estimated 65,000 sq feet and approximately 75 leased years of property throughout the state of Utah. A punitive tax risks destroying all of this.
- Raising taxes on vapor products will have a net-opposite effect due to over 50 main-street Utah businesses closing their doors due to the inability to compete in the global industry; placing the burden on the state due to over 500 Utah families on unemployment, in bankruptcy and in the state assistance programs.
CASAA and other organizations will be releasing similar calls to action so the response is expected to be large. Make sure you indicate in your email and phone calls that you are a Utah resident (include the city) so they recognize you are a voting delegate. If you are a supporter of the UTSFA or any other state or national THR Advocacy association, please include that in the closing of your email as well.
We encourage you to post any responses you receive in the comments here so everyone can see the details of the replies. The hearing is open to the public and testimony is encouraged from every shop owner, manufacturer and consumer statewide. If you choose to attend and testify, please review the tips on testimony in a legislative environment.
If anyone has any questions on this, please feel free to use the contact form above to get in touch with the board of directors.by