No on Amendment 72 to increase tobacco taxes??

I've been a bit curious, well, perhaps annoyed with the multiple flyers and TV ads I see almost daily saying "vote NO on amendment 72 to increase tobacco taxes." More flyers on this than any other single political issue.

A bit of checking shows that "Vote NO on 72" is "supported" by Altria Client Services LLC. Altria Group (renamed from Phillip Morris Companies) is one of the world's largest producers and marketers of tobacco, cigarettes and related products, annual revenue $24.5 billion. It is the parent company of Philip Morris and includes other many brands such as Benson & Hedges, Chesterfield, Copenhagen, L&M, Marlboro, on and on. Altria is said to have contributed $5 million to this campaign.

I celebrate & support people's freedom to vote as they choose. I'm sure there are a number of perspectives on this issue.

But for me, I'll vote to support the health and life of even a single person over protecting the profits of Phillip Morris.

"In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that each pack of cigarettes sold in the United States costs the nation more than $7 in medical care and lost productivity, around $3400 per year per smoker. Another study by a team of health economists finds the combined price paid by their families and society is about $41 per pack of cigarettes." [wikipedia topic tobacco_smoking]

thanks, roger


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  • From the Canon City Daily Record this morning. Seems that while your conspiracy theory might have some weight, I mean if I were a tobacco company I'd want to protect my interest, but there's more to the story.

    Original Link to article

    Sen. Kevin Grantham: Amendment 72 would further hamstring Colorado's budget Posted: 10/23/2016 12:07:31 PM MDT

    Amendment 72 promises to further tangle Colorado's budget. As a member of the Colorado Legislature's Joint Budget Committee, I can assure you that this is the last thing we need.

    Earlier this year, legislators struggled to balance Colorado's complicated budget, as is required each year by law, while also providing services that our communities need. Between requirements for education spending, the Gallagher Amendment, and other constitutionally-mandated spending, Colorado's Constitution is a web of conflicting, locked-in, spending requirements.

    Amendment 72 would be another $315-million-dollars per year in spending locked into Colorado's Constitution. Since it is a constitutional amendment, there is no way to change it without another statewide vote of the people, even if the programs it funds don't work or there is waste, fraud or abuse.

    Even more troubling is that this measure would lock hundreds of millions of dollars in spending into the Constitution for programs that have not been determined yet. A majority of the spending would go toward grants for which the grant guidelines are not even written yet. The measure offers little accountability and virtually no oversight for how the funds are spent.

    Voters deserve to know how the money will be spent and that it will not be wasted. After all, Colorado families work hard to earn that money and we owe it to them to be good stewards of those funds.

    Supporters of Amendment 72 will tell you that this will go to smoking cessation programs, but less than 20 percent of the funds are earmarked to go to cessation programs. Not one dime will go to Colorado's other pressing budget needs like roads and transportation, education or population growth.

    This measure also depends on a declining revenue source, which is unsustainable. This constitutional spending increase will lead to fewer tobacco purchases in Colorado. This would cause two things to happen. First, local governments would see declines in tax revenue, and there is no provision to make up for that lost revenue. Second, the programs that would be created by Amendment 72 would require new funding down the road as these tax revenues decline, possibly siphoning funds from other areas of the budget.

    Just last month, legislative economic forecasters told the Colorado legislature to expect reduced tax revenue due to slowing growth in the state. While the size of the budget shortfall is debated, the fact that the state will likely have to make some tough spending decisions ahead, is not.

    Colorado's Chief Legislative Economist Natalie Mullis recently suggested that the state could start the next fiscal year already $65 million in the red. That means that education spending could suffer.

    Even the Governor's office, taking a more optimistic view of the state's fiscal health, expects a shortfall to fund necessary obligations for next year's budget. This means that Colorado already is facing budget cuts.

    If Colorado can't fund its necessary obligations, the state has no business funding projects that have not even been determined or whose grant guidelines haven't even been written.

    Amendment 72 is a poorly-drafted measure that would lock hundreds of millions in new spending into Colorado's Constitution with practically no guarantee the money will be spent as claimed. Colorado's Constitution and its state budget is complex enough. Vote no on Amendment 72.

    Kevin Grantham represents Colorado State Senate District 2, which includes Clear Creek, Park, Teller, Fremont counties and parts of El Paso County.

    End of re-post >>>

    Now, I have to tell you, that all these proposed amendments to the constitution make me wary, simply as they are almost impossible to undo. Just like amendment 69, there's no accountability to ANYONE, this seems like the wrong path to the right thing, they are being sold under the same tired auspices of the "affordable" care act, and we all see how well that's working !!

    Buzzwords, Hot topics, much hoopla and few details.

    Don't worry about it, cause the gubbermint is SO honest and has our best interest at heart always.

    Horse Puckey.


  • I disagree that tax payers a footing the bill for smokers. We usually die suddenly and younger; commonly while we're still productive and paying taxes. People who want to live forever incur huge costs for joint replacements, teeth, eyes, hearing, therapies, etc, on their way to being as old as possible.
    Economically, tobacco is our only substantial export. Historically, tobacco financed our early years and everyone who signed the declaration of independence smoked and most made their fortunes from tobacco. As a smoker and traveler I think it's fair to say we make the best cigarettes in the world. Our smokes are even cheaper overseas and are always fresh and tasty and available.

  • Seems to me to this amendment is real simple. It is bad for smokers because cigs will cost more.. To the extend it curbs smoking because cigs cost more or the smoking cessation programs it supports reduce sales it is bad for the Tobacco Industry. IT IS GREAT FOR EVERYONE ELSE. This BS about complicating the Colorado budget is almost the lamest argument ever. If the senator can't figure out how to work a budget he should find another line of work- one that does not include payment by the Tobacco Industry. And I really love the line in the ads-- the money will go to programs that aren't even created yet. That line must appeal to people who have had a lobotomy. For the rest here is how THAT works. You fund a program. Then you create the program. Then you implement the Program. Then when the program works fewer people smoke. YES ON 71.

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