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News: Voters in North Dakota, Missouri, and Colorado Reject Tobacco Tax Hikes

9 Nov 2016


Yesterday, voters in four states considered ballot measures to hike state tobacco taxes, including on handmade cigars. Voters in North Dakota, Colorado, and Missouri appear rejected the proposed tax hikes, while it  California tax increase is passed.

Below are the latest results, which will be updated as votes are tallied. Here are the final percentages for each vote:

North Dakota Measure 4 (Results: 62% Against)

North Dakota’s Initiated Measure 4 would increase the tax on cigarettes 400% from 44 cents per pack to $2.20. All other tobacco products, including cigars, e-cigarettes, and vaping products, would see state taxes double from 28% of the wholesale purchase price to 56%.

Colorado Amendment 72 (Results: 54% Against)

In Colorado, anti-tobacco forces are trying to alter the state constitution to include triple taxes on tobacco products. The amendment would increase the tobacco tax by $1.75 per pack of 20 cigarettes, from 84 cents to $2.59, and jack up taxes on other tobacco products, including cigars, by 22% of the wholesale list price (on top of the existing 40% tax already in effect).

Missouri Proposition A (Results: 55% Against)

Missouri’s Proposition A would more than double taxes on cigarettes from 17 cents per pack to 40 cents, with the increase being phased in through 2021. Taxes on other tobacco products, including cigars, would increase by 5% of the manufacturer’s invoice price to 15%. Missouri voters are also rejecting Amendment 3, which would hike tobacco taxes 400% from 17 cents to 77 cents, with extra fees being applied to companies not subject to the master agreement settlement with the state.

California Proposition 56 (Results: 63% In Favor)

Anti-tobacco forces in California proposed to increase cigarette taxes $2 per pack, from 87 cents to $2.87. Other tobacco products, a tax category that includes cigars, would face a corresponding 230% increase in a state that already has record-high taxes.

The presidential result and Republican control of the House and (likely) Senate also have important implications for cigar smokers when it comes to FDA regulation, taxes, trade, and Cuban policy. More on that in the coming days.

Patrick S

photo credit: Flickr

3 Responses to “News: Voters in North Dakota, Missouri, and Colorado Reject Tobacco Tax Hikes”

  1. Gob Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    Freakin California!

  2. Mike Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

    No surprise about California. The state has a low 12% smoking rate and a low cigarette tax (87 cents) that hasn’t been raised in almost 20 years. Two previous attempts to raise the tobacco tax failed at the ballot box.

    I’ll be curious to see what the election means for FDA regulation. I am not so sure it will make a cigar exemption easier to secure. And I would not be surprised to see Obama’s loosening of the embargo by exec order reversed.

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