Yes on Proposition EE

YES on PROPOSITION EE: Tax on E-cigarettes; dedicates funds to education

Summary of Proposition EE: This measure would incrementally increase cigarette and tobacco product taxes and create a new tax on nicotine products such as e-cigarettes. Currently, in Colorado, cigarettes are taxed at a statutory rate of 20 cents per pack, tobacco products (cigars and tobacco designed to be chewed or smoked in a pipe) are taxed at a statutory rate of 20%, and nicotine products such as e-cigarettes are not taxed. The ballot measure would incrementally increase the statutory cigarette tax rate to $1.80 per pack and the statutory tax on other tobacco products to 22% by July 2027. It would also create a tax on nicotine products that would match the tobacco products tax rates. The rate would begin at 30% of the MLP in 2021 and would increase gradually to 62% of MLP by July 2027.

Recommendation Rationale: Colorado is one of a few states without a statewide tax on e-cigarettes and vaping products. Plus, Colorado’s tobacco taxes are among the lowest in the country. While these taxes are regressive in nature, they counteract the equally regressive and predatory advertising force from large corporations to target the LGBTQ community, BIPOC, and our youth. The state needs to provide a countervailing force to deter nicotine use when communities are bombarded with ads. This is especially important when healthcare costs are considered, since nicotine taxes can lower medical costs across the healthcare system. It’s time for Colorado to join the rest of the country in adopting a nicotine tax that covers vaping products, and Colorado should increase taxes to deter nicotine use during a pandemic. Plus, funds generated will go towards preschool, rural education, and keep our tobacco cessation programs funded during this financial crisis.

The Colorado Democratic Party (the state party) did not take a position.