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“If the tax measure is unsuccessful in November, the Colorado taxpayers will not be left holding the bag — the legislature will take this issue up again,” Mr. Morse said.

Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli predicted that the measure will pass, given the electorate’s tendency to support “sin taxes” such as those on tobacco.

“The people dealing directly with the price problem are a relatively small group, and they’re less likely to vote in a nonpresidential year,” Mr. Ciruli said. “This measure is going to be decided by nonusers.”

Republicans have argued in favor of keeping the sales tax at 10 percent in order to increase the measure’s chances of passage and avoid the specter of a black market driven by higher taxes. Meanwhile, Democrats insist that the higher sales tax will pass and, if not, the legislature can always enact fees on the industry.

“If it doesn’t pass, instead of tax the heck out of you, we’ll fee the heck out of you,” said state Rep. Jonathan Singer, a Democrat, in last week’s debate.