Tobacco-Tax Measure Makes November Ballot

So far, five citizen initiatives have been deemed sufficient

DENVER -- Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced on August 15, 2016 that a proposal that would triple the taxes on a pack of cigarettes will be on the ballot this November.

Backers of the "New cigarette and tobacco taxes" proposal submitted their petition signatures on Aug. 8. A 5-percent random sample of the submitted signatures projected the number of valid signatures to be greater than 110 percent of the total number of signatures required for placement on the ballot.

Petition verification summary:

Total number of qualified signatures submitted - 161,412 

5% of qualified signatures submitted (random sample) - 8,071 

Total number of entries accepted (valid) from the random sample - 5,848 

Total number of entries rejected (invalid) from the random sample - 2,223 

Number of projected valid signatures from the random sample - 116,954

Total number of signatures required for placement on ballot - 98,492

Projected percentage of required valid signatures - 118.74% 

The tobacco-tax measure is the fifth citizens’ initiative to successfully make the ballot. Initiative No. 143 would amend Colorado's constitution so that starting in January taxes on a pack of cigarettes would increase from 84 cents per pack to $2.59 per pack. The tax on other tobacco products would increase by 22 percent of the manufacturers' list price. The language in the measure spells out how specific percentages of tax revenues would be spent.

The other citizen proposals approved for the Nov. 8 ballot are: "ColoradoCare,  Minimum WageMedical Aid in Dying and Amending the Constitution.

Four other measures that were turned into the Secretary of State are still being tabulated. They are:

  • Primary elections: No. 98
  • Presidential primary election: No. 140
  • Local government authority to regulate oil-and-gas development: No. 75
  • Mandatory setback for oil/gas development: No. 78

Also on the ballot are two measures referred by the Colorado General Assembly: Amendment T, regarding servitude, and Amendment U, regarding property taxes. In addition, the Denver Metro Scientific and Cultural Facilities Board put Ballot Issue 4B, a sales-and-use tax measure, on ballots in the following metro counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Douglas (except Castle Rock and Larkspur) and Jefferson.