By: Angela Garrity
Crested Butte News is reporting that citizens of the Colorado city are likely to cast a vote in November about a proposed increase tax on tobacco products in the city. The tax would include cigarettes and nicotine products sold in Crested Butte.
The city is also considering raising the minimum purchase age from 18 to 21, as well.
Rob Zillioux, Town Finance Director, discussed the tax proposal during a recent council meeting citing a $3 per pack tax and 40 percent tax on all other tobacco/nicotine products could generate an additional $150,000 to $200,000 for the town annually.
Zillioux referred to similar taxes imposed in Aspen, Avon and Basalt and the revenue amount the hefty tax would generate for the city.
Councilman Chris Haver isn’t sold on the idea, however. He said, “I come from a tobacco state, North Carolina, but understand cigarettes are a bad habit. They present a health danger, are costly and, frankly, smell. I don’t smoke and don’t want my kid to smoke. But does it make sense when the purchaser can go a mile outside of town and buy a packet of cigarettes a lot cheaper than in town? And to me, it is simply a sin tax. I’m not sure that doing this in our little town will have the impact we hope. I’m the parent to a child. I’m not interested in being a parent to a neighbor.”
The council will continue the discussions on these proposals at the July 2 meeting. A final decision on the tax amount and specific ballot language will be before the end of July.
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