Policymakers concerned about the growth of vaping activity could ban vaping products. Or they could try to use taxes to discourage the practice. There are advantages and disadvantages to each policy option. The issue is complicated, because an e-cigarette and its products can be used in many ways with sometimes-conflicting effects.
The idea of a sales tax exemption makes sense if a state is trying to encourage first-time purchases of pricey goods like an energy efficient refrigerator. But for products that most residents will buy anyway—like school supplies—it doesn’t.
Michigan was one of 12 states that saw gas taxes increase on July 1. Its rate climbed by only 0.1 cent per gallon because it’s indexed monthly for inflation. In contrast, new legislation doubled gas tax rates in Illinois to 38 cents per gallon and raised the levy by 10.5 cents in Ohio. Can Michigan—and other states—go even bigger?