RALEIGH, N.C. -- The North Carolina House of Representatives is set to give a final vote Wednesday on a set of new tax packages, which include a proposal to tax electronic cigarettes.
House Bill 1050--called the Omnibus Tax Law Changes bill--is on the calendar for third read and a roll call vote. If it were to pass, it would head to the Senate. Representatives already voted 83 to 25 in favor of the bill Tuesday, when it was up for a second read.
In the bill are two key measures that were heavily debated Tuesday, according to WFMY News 2 CBS sister station in Raleigh. The proposed e-cigarette tax is a tax of five cents per millimeter of the nicotine-containing liquid in the vapor devices. Some lawmakers argued regular cigarettes are taxed at 45 cents, so if smokers switch to e-cigarettes, the state potentially could lose money. Others argued the state could benefit ultimately as the cigarette industry grows and creates more jobs.
Tuesday, lawmakers pushed through an amendment to the bill that classifies e-cigarette devices as tobacco products. Lawmakers say the modification would allow the bill to conform to any regulations the FDA could later adopt.
The second controversial measure in the tax package is the proposed cap on a privilege license tax for businesses. Different cities across North Carolina impose privilege license taxes differently--some on square footage and others on gross revenue.The bill would impose a flat $100 tax per business, which would be effective in 2015.
The House reconvenes at 3 Wednesday afternoon and could send the bill to the Senate later this evening, upon final approval of the bill. The Senate is set to reconvene at 2 p.m. Wednesday.