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California Tobacco Tax for Brain Research Initiative (2014)

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Two versions of a California Tobacco Tax for Brain Research Initiative were approved for circulation in California as contenders for the November 4, 2014, ballot as initiated state statutes. Two versions of the initiative (#14-0003, #14-0005) were filed and both were approved for circulation. Neither was certified for the ballot.

Text of measure

Version 14-0003

Ballot title:

Cigarette Tax to Fund Brain and Stem Cell Research. Initiative Statute.

Official summary:

"Increases cigarette tax by $1.00 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products. Requires tax revenues to be deposited into a special fund to provide grants and loans to support brain research, including stem cell research, on causes, treatments, detection, and cures for brain disorders and diseases. Creates 11-member oversight committee charged with administering the fund. If new tax causes decreased tobacco consumption, transfers sufficient amount of new tax revenues to offset revenue decrease to other programs funded by existing tobacco taxes. Requires annual independent audit."

Fiscal impact statement:

(Note: The fiscal impact statement for a California ballot initiative authorized for circulation is jointly prepared by the state's Legislative Analyst and its Director of Finance.)

"Net increase in cigarette excise tax revenues in the range of $500 million to $750 million annually by 2015-16. Revenues would decrease slightly each year thereafter. The funds would be used to support research on brain and central nervous system diseases and disorders. Increase in excise tax revenues on other tobacco products of roughly $50 million annually going mainly to existing health programs. Change in state and local sales tax revenues ranging from a $30 million loss to a $40 million gain annually."

Version 14-0005

Ballot title:

Cigarette Tax to Fund Brain Research. Initiative Statute.

Official summary:

"Increases cigarette tax by $1.00 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products. Requires tax revenues to be deposited into a special fund to provide grants and loans to support brain research on causes, treatments, detection, and cures for brain disorders and diseases. Creates 11-member oversight committee charged with administering the fund. If new tax causes decreased tobacco consumption, transfers sufficient amount of new tax revenues to offset revenue decrease to other programs funded by existing tobacco taxes."

Fiscal impact statement:

(Note: The fiscal impact statement for a California ballot initiative authorized for circulation is jointly prepared by the state's Legislative Analyst and its Director of Finance.)

"Net increase in cigarette excise tax revenues in the range of $500 million to $750 million annually by 2015-16. Revenues would decrease slightly each year thereafter. The funds would be used to support research on brain and central nervous system diseases and disorders. Increase in excise tax revenues on other tobacco products of roughly $50 million annually going mainly to existing health programs. Change in state and local sales tax revenues ranging from a $30 million loss to a $40 million gain annually."

Path to the ballot

See also: Signature requirements for ballot measures in California
  • Frank P. Barbaro submitted a letter requesting a title and summary for Version #14-0003 on January 14, 2014.
  • Frank P. Barbaro submitted a letter requesting a title and summary for Version #14-0005 on January 16, 2014.
  • A title and summary for Version 14-0003 was issued by the Attorney General of California's office on March 7, 2014.
  • A title and summary for Version 14-0005 was issued by the Attorney General of California's office on March 10, 2014.
  • 504,760 valid signatures were required for qualification purposes.
  • Supporters had until August 4, 2014 to collect the required signatures for Version #14-0003.
  • Supporters had until August 7, 2014, to collect the required signatures for Version #14-0005.
  • The Secretary of State’s suggested signature filing deadline for the November 4, 2014, ballot was April 18, 2014. This means that if supporters had submitted enough valid signatures by August 4 but after April 18, the measure could have been pushed back as far as the next statewide general election, in November 2016.

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