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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 6, 2017 10:54 AM
From: Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich
To: All House members
Subject: Changes to Fireworks Laws
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to amend the new fireworks provisions of the Tax Reform Code to make them fairer to our important small businesses.

As you know, the new law allows retailers who sell from temporary structures (usually tents) to sell most of the same products sold by retailers with brick-and-mortar stores. To protect our vital existing small business retailers, the law also prevents a temporary structure from being located within five miles of an existing permanent structure for the next five years. After that, the limitation is two miles. However, a brick-and-mortar retailer who was in the process of changing locations when the law – which took many retailers by surprise – was enacted will not get the benefit of this “halo.” That is just wrong and should be corrected. My legislation will make sure this protection is afforded to a retailer who was in this position when the law passed and who submits an application for a license for the retailer’s new facility by May 31, 2018.

The new law also requires all retailers to assess the new 12% tax on top of existing state and local sales tax, which will require retailers to substantially change the way that they typically ring up a sale. This is an unnecessary burden on them and only serves to further drive up the cost of their products to their customers. My legislation would make it clear that the new 12% tax is being imposed on the original sale price, not on the sale price plus state and local sales taxes.

Finally, the new law requires existing licensees to obtain a new license – and pay a new and higher – license fee by the end of January 2018. A new license will be valid for one year following issuance. However, it does not require that the Department give licensees a credit for the annual fee that they may have just recently paid under the old law. I believe this is inadvertent and that the Department may address this administratively by giving licensees an appropriate credit. However, in the event the Department determines otherwise, I have included a provision to correct this unfairness as well.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Thank you.