Business speaks out against 95% vapor tax proposal - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Business speaks out against 95% vapor tax proposal

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Vapor products could be taxed 95 percent in Washington if Governor Jay Inslee's budget is approved. Vapor products could be taxed 95 percent in Washington if Governor Jay Inslee's budget is approved.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Vapor products could be taxed 95 percent in Washington if Governor Jay Inslee's budget is approved.

It's a number that local vapor shops are calling outrageous, but supporters say would level the playing field for taxing similar products.

A similar vapor tax was proposed last year but was not approved.

Joey Blodgett, general manager at Sublime Vapor, says a 95 percent tax hike on vapor products would be devastating for his business.

"I think it's really an attack on small business," said Blodgett.

Blodgett says the tax could make it hard to keep vapor product prices competitive with cigarettes, and he's concerned his customers may go back to using traditional tobacco products.

"Nicotine, it can be addictive," said Blodgett. "It's been proven it can be addictive. I personally feel that this is a much safer alternative than smoking cigarettes and if you're over 18, it's your personal choice," said Blodgett.

Washington already has a 95 percent tax on similar products like certain cigars.

Currently, there are only two other states that tax vapor products - North Carolina and Minnesota.

The vapor tax proposal is only one part of Governor Inslee's budget plan, which the legislature will take up in January.

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