Prop. EE -- Tobacco Tax for Education Funding

Prop. EE -- Tobacco Tax for Education Funding

With more than 100 endorsing organizations, Prop EE support spans a broad and non-partisan coalition of Front Range and rural groups; business and labor leaders; health, education and early childhood stakeholders; Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters.

The important features of Prop. EE are summarized in three main categories :

1) Colorado has one of the highest rates of youth vaping in the country, while also having one of the lowest tax rates on cigarettes and tobacco products, and no tax on vaping products. Cigarettes, tobacco, and nicotine products are addictive and have negative health impacts, which can include cancer as well as heart and lung disease. Tax increases usually result in higher prices, which deter smoking and tobacco use, especially among youth and young adults. Higher taxes on cigarettes, tobacco products, and vaping products could decrease consumption while funding health care, and tobacco cessation, education, and prevention programs.

2) Proposition EE provides needed funding for education. The impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic on the state budget have resulted in a 10 percent decrease in the state share of public-school funding for the 2020-21 school year. Additional federal funding has helped lessen the impact of this state budget cut in 2020; however, it is not likely to be available next year, and further cuts are expected. The measure provides vital funding for schools as the economy recovers, and additional assistance for small rural districts that are disproportionately impacted by state funding cuts.

3) Providing access to free preschool gives all children the same foundation before entering kindergarten. Currently, half of Colorado three- and-four-year-old children do not attend any type of preschool. High quality preschool is shown to improve educational, economic, and health outcomes throughout a child’s life, including higher wages, higher graduation rates, and fewer criminal convictions. Access to preschool also supports working parents by giving them the option to enroll their children in up to ten hours per week at no cost. 

Source: Colorado Legislative Council, 2020 State Ballot Information Booklet