Taxes, taxes and more taxes. Is this the GOP today?
The growing e-cigarette industry is waging a battle against New Jersey's hefty proposed tax on the devices, worrying that such a levy could set a precedent as states start to grapple with the new products.
No special tax is currently imposed on e-cigarettes reports the Wall Street Journal.
Nearly 50 independent e-cigarette retailers have banded together to fight the proposed tax. The group, the New Jersey Vapor Retailers Coalition, has hired one of the state's largest lobbying firms, MWW, to convince lawmakers that the levy would not only cripple their fledgling businesses, but would hurt other small operators who sell the devices, including gas stations and convenience stores.
"You've got legislators trying to put a tax on something they don't understand," said Ryan Bunting, owner of e-Volution Vapors, a small e-cigarette retailer in Somerville. "They don't even know how the equipment works."
Christie says the tax could bring in $35 million a year, funds the state needs to help close a budget gap of more than $1 billion.
It is unclear whether the tax would actually generate that amount. At this time, there is no clear indication of how big the industry is in New Jersey, according to a coalition spokesman. Mr. Christie's office has said it previously overshot revenue projections for online gambling, another new industry that has so far underperformed.