Butler, PA – Kingdom Vapor Wholesale’s lawsuit against the 40% tax in Pennsylvania is making progress. The process has taken a painfully long time to get to an actual court hearing but things are finally starting to happen. On January 10th, 2018 the first hearing took place to address Kingdom Vapor Wholesale’s request for a preliminary injunction.
Kingdom Vapor claims that the only items subject to the TPTA are e-liquid and complete e-cigarette devices, while parts and components are not. Jessica Lightner, Chief of Cigarette Enforcement for the DOR, testified that if a component part has another use besides vaping, then it is not subject to the TPTA. A decision was received on January 31st from the Honorable Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer. As a result of the January 10th hearing the request for preliminary injunction was granted in part. This prevents the DOR from pursuing administrative and criminal penalties during the pendency of this litigation provided that Kingdom Vapor continues to file its monthly reports and pay the 40% tax on the same items on which it has been collecting and paying the tax. A final decision on what products are taxable will ultimately be made in a separate hearing scheduled in April.
In the decision the court stated that Kingdom Vapor made a strong statutory construction argument regarding the interpretation of the TPTA. The TPTA does not specifically provide for taxation of the component parts DOR says are separately subject to taxation, nor does the TPTA use the word “integral”. The court notes that a statute imposing a tax is required to be “strictly construed”. By separate order the court will expedite the argument of this case.
Kingdom Vapor Wholesale is counting on support from the entire industry to continue in this fight. This 40% Tax rule has put shops out of business and has helped to push customers from Brick and Mortar shops to online retailers where no tax is charged. For more information, follow Kingdom Vapor on Facebook and Instagram or go to www.kingdomvapor.com/Blog