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The Vail Town Council will consider a resolution at its Tuesday, Sept. 3 meeting to place a question on the Nov. 5 election ballot asking voters to consider imposing local sales taxes on the purchase of cigarettes, tobacco and nicotine products within the town. Resolution No. 36 is listed as action item 5.1 on the evening meeting agenda which begins at 6 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers with opportunities for public comment.
As drafted, Resolution No. 36 would ask registered electors of Vail to consider a special tax of $3 per pack of 20 cigarettes and 40 percent on the price paid of all other tobacco products during Vail’s regular general election in November. If approved, the taxes would be collected beginning Jan. 1, 2020 and would be used for general governmental purposes.
The proposed ballot question has been drafted at the request of the Vail Town Council following a discussion with representatives from the Eagle River Youth Coalition. The coalition has been advocating a series of initiatives to discourage the use of cigarettes, tobacco and nicotine products throughout the valley.
The draft ballot question requires a calculation of estimated new revenues for the first year of collections that cannot be exceeded, per TABOR, which has been set at $1 million. The calculation is based on gathering comparative information from other resort municipalities in Colorado and analyzing potential volume from local retail stores selling tobacco products. Should excess revenue be collected in the first year, it would require a refund of the excess in the next fiscal year unless voters approve a revenue change as an offset. Therefore, ample allowance has been given to ensure Vail’s estimate would not exceed actual collections within the first year.