2021 | Government

Hucker proposes doubling electronic cigarette tax to 60%

Current tax rate of 30% is on wholesale price

Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker

Photo from Montgomery County

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

Council President Tom Hucker spearheaded a resolution, introduced at a council meeting on Tuesday, to double the current 30% tax rate on wholesale prices of electronic cigarette products to 60%.

The resolution, if approved, would go into effect on July 1.

“We’re often public health leaders in Montgomery County and we are told that ours was the first tax on vaping products in the nation. … I’m glad that our policy leadership here has been instructive for other counties,” Hucker said. “This program has been a success at raising revenue for our public health programs to offset the cost to our taxpayers that is associated with e-cigarette and tobacco use.”

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

The council approved the 30% tax rate in 2015.

While it was supported by public health and anti-smoking advocates, it was strongly opposed by local e-cigarette retailers and Bruce Bereano, representing the Maryland Association of Tobacco and Candy Distributors.

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

Eric Gally, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society, said at the 2015 hearing that the tax would help keep kids from “initiation” into the products.

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