Could a new nicotine tax pay for free preschool in Colorado? Advocates want to ask voters in November. | VailDaily.com
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Could a new nicotine tax pay for free preschool in Colorado? Advocates want to ask voters in November.

Ann Schimke, Colorado Sun

Colorado voters could decide this November whether to fund free preschool for 4-year-olds statewide by taxing tobacco and vaping products. 

On Friday, two citizens took the first step toward putting the question on November’s ballot, filing more than a dozen possible versions with the state’s Office of Legislative Council, which reviews potential initiatives before sending them to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

New taxes on a pack of cigarettes or vaping products would range from $1.20 to $2.60, depending on which version of the ballot proposal is selected. Currently, taxes are 84 cents a pack, among the lowest in the country.

The money from a new vaping and tobacco tax, which is sure to be vehemently opposed by the tobacco industry, would go a long way toward helping Gov. Jared Polis make good on his promise to offer free preschool to all 4-year-olds by the end of his first term. 

One version of the ballot question would put $300 million more a year toward state-funded preschool. That’s far above the $27 million that Polis requested in this year’s budget and that, so far, lawmakers of both parties have been reluctant to endorse.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies that matter in Colorado. Read more, sign up for free newsletters and subscribe at coloradosun.com.


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