Colorado proposal would triple cigarette tax, fund preschool

May 3, 2019 | Chalkbeat Colorado

A proposed tax on nicotine products could double Colorado’s preschool investment, pay for afterschool and summer enrichment programs for low-income families, and chip away at Colorado’s highest-in-the-nation teen vaping rate.

Colorado voters could be asked this November to triple the tax on cigarettes to $2.59 a pack, and impose a 62 percent tax on e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. Colorado does not currently tax the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes, making vaping a cheap and attractive alternative to cigarettes, while other tobacco products are taxed at 40 percent.

If successful — always a big if in Colorado — the tax would generate more than $300 million a year with the proceeds to be divided between education and health care needs. An additional $111 million would be put into the Colorado Preschool Program, twice the current allocation, and $47 million would be generated for enrichment programs for low-income children.

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