Colorado’s Basic Assembly will not ask voters to approve a new vaping tax and cigarette tax enhance, handing Gov. Jared Polis his first legislative defeat within the last hours of the legislature’s session.
The proposed ballot initiative was a late precedence for Polis, who asked lawmakers to send the tax enhance question to voters with just 10 days left within the session.
Thursday night, on second reading of the bill within the Senate, only 9 Democrats stood in help of it. It needed not less than 18 votes to pass.
“The Governor is dissatisfied by the choice to take this alternative out of the palms of Colorado voters,” Polis’ office mentioned in a statement. “This measure would have reduced our staggering rates of teenybopper vaping while rising funding for early childhood training and saving people money on healthcare.”
The legislation would have raised taxes on a pack of cigarettes from $0.eighty four to $2.59 — a nearly 200% increase. It additionally would have elevated the tax on all other nicotine products from 40% to sixty two% of the listed manufacturer price. The legislature was additionally going to ask voters to approve adding vape juice, or e-liquids, to the list of merchandise covered by that nicotine product tax.
State Sen. Rhonda Fields, the Aurora Democrat who sponsored the laws, mentioned she was “blindsided” by the vote. She didn’t have immediate plans to place the query to voters by way of a regular ballot initiative process.
Opponents applauded the invoice’s failure.
“If we are to effectively fight teen nicotine use, we should accomplish that with out attacking adults who are using e-cigarettes to add years back to their lives and with out ignoring the vast majority of Colorado voters who stated no to a regressive tobacco tax improve just a few years ago,” mentioned Sage Naumann, spokesperson for Senate Republicans.