California Tobacco Tax for Healthcare Initiative (2014)

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A California Tobacco Tax for Healthcare Initiative (#13-0027) was approved for circulation in California as a contender for the November 4, 2014, ballot as an initiated state statute.

Supporters of the initiative referred to it as "The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2014."

Text of measure

Ballot title:

Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Statute.

Official summary:

"Increases cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products. Allocates revenues primarily to increase funding for healthcare programs and services; also for tobacco use prevention and control programs, for tobacco-related disease research, for state and local agencies to enhance tobacco law enforcement, for University of California to train more physicians, and for administrative expenses. If new tax causes decreased tobacco consumption, transfers new tax revenues to offset decrease to existing tobacco-funded programs. Requires biennial independent audit and accounting."

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 $800 million to $1.4 billion annually by 2015-16. Revenues would decrease slightly each year thereafter. The funds would be used for health care expenses, tobacco-related prevention and cessation programs, law enforcement programs, and medical research on tobacco-related diseases. Increase in excise tax revenues on other tobacco products under $100 million annually going mainly to existing health programs. Change in state and local sales tax revenues ranging from a $70 million loss to a $70 million gain annually."

Path to the ballot

See also: Signature requirements for ballot measures in California
  • Lance Olson submitted a letter requesting a title and summary on October 11, 2013.
  • A title and summary were issued by the Attorney General of California's office on December 26, 2013.
  • 504,760 valid signatures were required for qualification purposes.
  • Supporters had until May 27, 2014, to collect and submit the required number of signatures, as petition circulators are given 150 days to circulate petitions.
  • 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 May 27 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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