Tobacco tax increase up to New Castle voters
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020 the cost per pack of cigarettes would increase by $3.20
New Castle will not consider raising the purchasing age to 21 for tobacco products until its residents weigh in on a proposed tobacco tax first.
If passed, the cost per pack of cigarettes would increase by $3.20 come Jan. 1.
Additionally, the town would impose a 40-percent sales tax on all other tobacco and nicotine products including e-cigarettes and vaporizers.
“It’s a health issue,” said Mayor Art Riddile. “The information coming out is exploding nationwide about the vaping issues. …That’s what brought up this issue with taxing a cigarette, tobacco products and vaping products.”
Per the ballot language, the tobacco tax would increase by 10 cents annually until it reached $4 per pack of cigarettes sold in 2028.
Colorado currently levies an 84-cent tax on a pack of cigarettes.
The county will begin mailing out ballots Oct. 18 and the election will officially take place Nov. 5.
Councilors also talked about raising the purchasing age to 21 for tobacco products, however that discussion has been put on hold pending the outcome of the tobacco tax.
“There was a little discussion about the 21 purchasing age,” said Riddile. “The council decided that they would revisit that after the tax initiative on tobacco in November to see how that went first.”
Aspen, Snowmass, Basalt, Carbondale and most recently Glenwood Springs have all raised the purchasing age for tobacco products to 21.
According to the ballot issue, the town’s taxes would increase by “up to $65,000” annually beginning in 2020 should voters approve the question.
Revenues generated through the tax would go toward community health, wellness and youth programs.
Riddile, himself, favored raising the purchasing age for tobacco products to 21.
“I think it will make it a lot more difficult for underage people who want to smoke to obtain cigarettes, tobacco or vaping products,” said Riddile.
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