Tobacco Tax Collections Could Fall Short Of Predictions

Colorado Springs (AP) Tobacco tax revenues may end up falling short of estimates, despite jumping nearly 200% since the beginning of the year. Proponents of the tax hike approved last fall said it would bring in an extra $172 million dollars this year, but so far state revenue department figures suggest the state will end up $42 million dollars short of that estimate.

The governor's spokesman Dan Hopkins calls the projection, "overly optimistic," and says states that have increased tobacco taxes have seen a decrease in revenues.

He says that's the reason why the governor wanted to create a reserve fund for some of the tax money, which is also being used to fund health care programs.

A constitutional amendment approved by voters in November raised the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 20 cents to 84 cents and the tax on other tobacco products by 20%.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
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