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Measure 108
More taxes on tobacco and e-cigarettes

Editor's note: This is part two of a multi-part series covering the 2020 Oregon General Election ballot measures.

By far, the most expensive ballot measure this cycle will be Measure 108 which was referred to the voters by the legislature from HB 2270. At $13 million, it has remarkably few large contributors. One doesn't have to try hard to envision the healthcare industrial complex taking on the lowly, blue-collar smokers. Since the proceeds of the tax increase go to fund health care for low-income Oregonians, it can be regarded as taxing the poor to pay for their own health care.

One can wonder about the sustainability of funding health care through increased taxes on nicotine. What do we do when it's no longer cool to smoke and revenue declines? If this is such a good idea, why do we need $13 million from the healthcare-industrial complex against virtually no opposition to pass this? Couldn't we have used that $13 million to pay for -- uh, more health care?

This is the official title for the measure, as provided by the Attorney General, as it will appear on the ballot:

Increases cigarette and cigar taxes. Establishes tax on e-cigarettes and nicotine vaping devices. Funds health programs.

Result of 'Yes' Vote: 'Yes' vote increases cigarette tax by $2 per pack. Increases cap on cigar taxes to $1 per cigar. Establishes tax on nicotine inhalant delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes and vaping products. Funds health programs. Approves other provisions.

Result of 'NO' Vote: 'No' vote retains current law. Cigarettes are taxed at current rate of $1.33 per pack. Tax on cigars is capped at 50 cents per cigar. Nicotine inhalant delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes and vaping products, remain untaxed.

Summary: Under current law, a tax of $1.33 is imposed on each pack of 20 cigarettes, cigars are taxed at 65 percent of their wholesale price up to a maximum of 50 cents per cigar, and nicotine inhalant delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes and vaping products, are not taxed. Measure increases the cigarette tax by $2 per pack and increases the maximum tax on cigars to $1 per cigar. Measure provide for smaller cigars (sold commonly as "cigarillos") to be taxed like cigarettes. Measure establishes tax on nicotine inhalant delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes and vaping products, at 65 percent of the wholesale price. Tax on nicotine inhalant delivery systems does not apply to approved tobacco cessation products or to marijuana inhalant delivery systems. Revenue from increased and new taxes will be used to fund health care coverage for low-income families, including mental health services, and to fund public health programs, including prevention and cessation programs, addressing tobacco- and nicotine-related diseases.

Major donations to Yes for a Healthy Future
09/09/2020Oregon Association of Hospitals & Health Systems$500,000
07/13/2020American Lung Association$5,000
06/20/2020Adventist Health System$396,580
01/15/2020American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc.$50,000
01/11/2020Sky Lakes Medical Center$352,460
12/27/2019Oregon Association of Hospitals & Health Systems$500,000
12/02/2019Grande Ronde Hospital$201,400
11/27/2019Trinity Health$93,648
11/27/2019Salem Health Hospitals & Clinics$857,016
11/25/2019Samaritan Health Services$652,560
11/20/2019Kaiser Permanente - KP Financial Svcs$919,908
11/18/2019Legacy Health System CPC, LLC$1,732,048
11/15/2019Trinity Health$169,204
11/14/2019Nurses United Political Action Committee (12987)$200,000
11/14/2019St. Charles Health System$792,368
11/13/2019Providence Health & Services$3,296,948

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-10-07 11:42:14Last Update: 2020-10-02 16:00:52

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