Lawmakers Snuff Out Cigarette Tax Increase

Cigarette Tax
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Colorado lawmakers have turned back a proposal that would have asked voters to approve a 50-cent tax increase on cigarettes. The tax is now 20 cents a pack -- among the lowest in the country.

That now leaves the door open for supporters of a ballot initiative that would raise taxes 64 cents a pack.

Both proposals would use tax revenue to pay for health care programs. But members of a legislative committee that rejected the plan say it's not fair to make smokers pay the cost.

The legislative plan would have directed $50 million to also help seniors pay drug costs.