This November, the voters of Crested Butte will decide whether or not to raise the tax on a pack of cigarettes by $3 per pack and subject all other tobacco products to a tax of 40 percent of the wholesale price, after the Crested Butte Town Council approved a resolution sending the matter to the ballot.
The idea has become a popular one in Colorado recently after a new state law went into effect on July 1 that gave local municipalities more control over the sale and taxation of tobacco products within their jurisdiction. Previously, doing so meant possible forfeiture of tobacco tax revenue collected by the state; under the new law that is no longer the case.
For products other than cigarettes, the new tax would be in addition to the state’s existing tax rate of 40 percent of the wholesale price. The town has not yet posted the full text of what voters will see on the ballot or how the tax will be implemented, though it appears the impetus of the increase is electronic cigarettes and vaping products, as well as an attempt to reduce tobacco use among younger people.
A similar change was approved in Aspen in 2017 with 74.5 percent of the voters increasing the tax by the same rate.
Crested Butte is home to approximately 1,700 people and is located 200 miles southwest of Denver.