News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: December 30, 2019

Local Tax and Licensing Requirements on Tobacco and Nicotine Products Begin Jan. 1

Sample retail tobacco license

Vendors selling cigarettes, vaping devices and other products in Summit County must comply with new local regulations

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SUMMIT COUNTY – Retail sales of tobacco and nicotine products, including cigarettes and vaping devices, are subject to a new local tax effective Jan. 1, 2020, in accordance with voters' approval of Measure 1A in November. All local jurisdictions in Summit County have also passed ordinances requiring all retailers selling these products to obtain a license and raising the purchase age from 18 to 21.

"These new taxes and regulations take effect at 12 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2020, so it's important that all retailers have their point-of-sale systems programmed and ready to include the new local tax on any tobacco or nicotine products," Summit County Finance Director Marty Ferris said. "Retailers also need to have their Tobacco Retailer License and refrain from selling to anyone under the age of 21."

The taxation and licensing program applies to any retailer, including those online, selling cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and pods, pipe tobacco, snuff, bidis, snus, nicotine mints, nicotine hand gels and any item designed for the consumption or use of tobacco. The program does not apply to products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in cessation of tobacco or nicotine.

As of Jan. 1, 2020, the voter-approved special sales tax includes a $4/pack sales tax on cigarettes, or $0.20 per cigarette. The local sales tax on all other tobacco and nicotine products, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices, will be 40 percent throughout 2020, rising 10 percentage points per year for four years, starting Jan. 1, 2021. Revenues from the tax will fund local tobacco control programs, health services and local enforcement of tobacco control policies.

The new tax is applicable to all retailers throughout Summit County, including those within the boundaries of any incorporated town. Retailers will remit the tax online to HdL Companies, which Summit County has contracted with to collect the special sales tax revenues. All retailers will receive communication from Summit County after Jan. 1 on registering with HdL Companies for the special sales tax remittance.

All existing state and local sales taxes will still apply to all tobacco and nicotine products. Retailers will continue to submit their state and county sales taxes to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Health research has shown that every 10 percent increase in price results in a decrease in use of up to 15 percent by youth and a 7 percent drop in adult use. Furthermore, research has shown that about 96 percent of smokers began smoking before age 21, with most starting before age 16.

Retailers seeking a license to sell tobacco or nicotine products in unincorporated Summit County should contact the Summit County Clerk and Recorder's Office. Retailers selling tobacco or nicotine products within the boundaries of an incorporated town (Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, Montezuma or Silverthorne) should contact the town clerk's office of the applicable town(s). Licenses are required, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

For more information about the Summit County Tobacco and Nicotine Taxation and Licensing Program, visit www.SummitCountyCO.gov/Tobacco. For more information about taxation remittance, email summitco@hdlcompanies.com, or call 720-875-4160. For more information about obtaining a license, email tobaccolicensing@summitcountyco.gov, or call 970-453-3472.


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