ASPEN, Colo. -- The city of Aspen, Colo., will increase its taxes on tobacco products, including a hefty $3-per-pack increase on cigarettes, following firm approval by voters in a Nov. 7 referendum on the issue.
The results were definitive, with 75% of the approximately 1,700 votes cast approving the measure, according to the Denver Post. The cigarette tax will continue to rise every year by 10 cents until it hits $4. The action also enacts a 40% increase on taxes on other tobacco products, including cigars, electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Both the tax and another new Aspen law raising the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 years old will take effect Jan. 1, 2018.
While the tax is expected to bring in $325,000 annually, the change in legal age of purchase will cut that revenue by an estimated $75,000 a year, the Post reported.
Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch was behind the push to get the tax question on the ballot. “This was not hard to sell to the council, and it was evidently not a hard sell for the community,” Frisch said.