Proposition II: Colorado would be able to keep all the tobacco, nicotine tax revenue it generates to pay for preschool

The ballot measure would let Colorado keep nearly $24 million in existing tax revenue to pay for expanded preschool access. If it fails, tobacco and nicotine taxes would be cut.

The cigarette and vaping display at a convenience store in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood on April 30, 2019
Eric Lubbers/Colorado Sun

Colorado voters approved a ballot measure in 2020 increasing taxes on tobacco and nicotine products and letting the state use the revenue to fund a universal preschool program. 

But the increased taxes generated more money than expected to the tune of about $24 million.  So the legislature passed a bill asking voters this year through Proposition II to let the state keep that extra money — as well as all future revenue from the taxes — and use it to expand the preschool program.

If voters reject Proposition II, the tax revenue collected above what was projected will be returned to nicotine and tobacco wholesalers and distributors. Additionally, the nicotine and tobacco tax rates will be cut to prevent future excess revenue. 

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