Colorado lawmakers introduced a measure Thursday to put a tobacco and vaping tax measure on the November ballot.
The bill — an effort to avoid a costly and difficult campaign to put the measure on the ballot via petition — comes a day before the session was scheduled to conclude. If it clears its first hurdles, lawmakers will need to meet Saturday for a final vote, according to an article in the Denver Post.
It would also create a tax on nicotine products such as on vape products that would be equal to 50% of the manufacturer’s list price until July 1, 2024; 56% until July 1, 2027; and 62% after.
House Bill 1427 calls for smaller increases in taxes than the citizen-led Initiative 292, but it comes with a commitment from the governor and proponents that there will be no more taxes on the products for six years, according to a document obtained by The Denver Post.
The bill calls for asking voters to increase the cigarette tax from 1 cent to 6.5 cents until July 1, 2024; increasing it to 8 cents until July 1, 2027; and then increasing it to 10 cents. It would make the minimum price for a cigarette pack $7 and $70 for a carton until July 1, 2024, and then going up to $7.50 and $75, respectively.
For the first two and a half years of the tax, $450 million would go toward the state’s general fund and after that, the money would toward preschool education.