You Won’t Believe What Your Vices Pay For In Colorado
We’ve all got bad habits, whether it be biting your nails, overindulging, or poor money management. There’s a long list, but there are a few vices that are actually taxed in most states.
In Colorado, four different vices, tobacco/nicotine, sports betting, marijuana, and alcohol are all taxed. However, each of these taxed vices contributes greatly to a public program here in Colorado.
Let’s take a look at all four of these to see what the tax money is heading towards.
Tobacco and Nicotine Taxes Go Towards Funding Colorado’s New Universal Pre-K Program
According to NPR, a large portion of Colorado’s tobacco and nicotine tax revenue is going toward the new universal pre-K system. The system was voted on by Colorado voters back in 2020.
For Coloradans, it would seem the most surprising source of income for the system has been through vaping. In fact, Colorado has seen a $23.65 million increase in income from vaping than what was originally projected in 2020.
While it is good the program has funding for the time being, some have questioned the link between early childhood education and revenue gained from nicotine addiction.
Gaming and Sports Betting Taxes are Used to Fund Colorado Community Colleges and Water Projects
Sports gambling and casino taxes have been a huge revenue stream for Colorado since it was officially greenlit in 2019.
For one, a large chunk of the funds collected from gaming and sports gambling are going towards funding Colorado’s community college system. Between 2020 and 2021, Colorado allocated $13.8 million towards community colleges just from gaming and sports gambling taxes. It also gave $25 million with the same tax dollars to the Colorado State Historical Fund.
More recently, the sports gambling tax in particular has also been used to fund the Colorado Water Plan, which aims to get Colorado ready for a warmer and drier climate.
As the Colorado Sun notes, Colorado passed legislation last year to limit the amount of free bets sports gambling companies are allowed to run in the year. Free bets are not taxed, and with this legislation, sports gambling revenue will be doubled for the state, allowing for more money to be allocated to the Colorado Water Plan.
Colorado’s Liquor Tax Helps Pay For The Old Age Pension Fund
Here in Colorado, much of the revenue collected from the liquor tax goes to the Old Age Pension Fund (OAP). The OAP looks to give financial benefits to Colorado citizens over the age of 60 and have an income of under $771. In return, the OAP can give up to $841 of monthly assistance in financial support.
On the other hand, revenue also goes toward Colorado’s General Fund, which the state says acts like its general checking account. It also goes towards the Colorado Wine Industry Development Fund, which is meant to help bolster Colorado’s wineries.
Colorado’s Marijuana Tax Revenue Goes Towards Renewing or Replacing Deteriorating Public Schools
Finally, a good portion of Colorado’s marijuana tax revenue is used to fund a program called Building Excellent Schools Today Fund (BEST). With BEST, grants are awarded on a competitive basis with the goal of funding the removal of asbestos, overcrowding, poor indoor air quality, and other related building code violations that could be found in older public schools.
On the other hand, marijuana tax revenue is also put into the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund, which is money that can only be used for health care and education, substance abuse prevention programs, and law enforcement.
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