Wyoming Cigarette Sales Soar 60% As Colorado Raises Tax
Some friends of mine who work at a tobacco shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming were telling me that they had both just gotten raises. The reason for the increase in pay was because of they'd seen a just over 60% jump in business.
If tobacco sales along the boarder with Colorado have jumped that much, I reasoned, it must be because Colorado had increased their taxes.
Not only did Colorado increase their taxes, my friends told me, but they wrote the law in such a way that tobacco companies cannot get around the higher taxes by offering sales and coupons.
The Colorado tax climbs over time and increases the total state-levied tax from 84 cents to eventually $2.64 per pack by 2027.
Vaping products, not currently taxed, are now 30 percent of the manufacturer’s list price in 2021. That increases to 62 percent by 2027.
The minimum price per pack of cigarettes at $7 as of Jan. 1 of 2021 rises to $7.50 in 2024.
So now folks in Northern Colorado are crossing the boarder and saving bundles of money. This is good for Wyoming retailers while the state of Wyoming is collecting the tax that Colorado is now missing out on.
The moral of the story is that taxing tobacco does not cause anyone to smoke less and does not increase tax revenue. It just causes smokers to go find what they want someplace else.
Smokers in other parts of Colorado are either shopping in the closest state to them or finding other clever ways to get around the tax.
BONUS SONG! Tex Williams, Smoke That Cigarette.