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Cigarette tax hike tabbed for education

NOV. 5 BALLOT INITIATIVE

By Taylor Beck/For The Richmond News 

This November Missourians will vote on whether to approve a cigarette tax hike. The initiative, Proposition B, would put on an additional 73 cents per pack on cigarettes, increasing the total tax to 90 cents per pack. Missouri currently has the lowest tobacco tax in the nation at 17 cents a pack.

The tax on loose tobacco used in roll-your-own cigarettes would be 25 percent and 15 percent for other tobacco products.

If approved, Prop B would bring in an estimated $283 million to $423 million a year according to an estimate from the state auditor. The proceeds would be divided between K-12 education, higher education and tobacco prevention and education programs.

Ron Leone, executive director of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, said Prop B’s 760 percent increase would be devastating

“It will hurt Missouri consumers, it will force small businesses to close, it will cause people to lose their jobs, and it will generate less tax revenue for local and state coffers that are already stretched thin because of the great recession,” Leon said.

In 2002 and 2006 voters had the choice to raise the cigarette tax, but both ballot measures failed.

This November Missourians will vote on whether to approve a cigarette tax hike. The initiative, Proposition B, would put on an additional 73 cents per pack on cigarettes, increasing the total tax to 90 cents per pack. Missouri currently has the lowest tobacco tax in the nation at 17 cents a pack.

The tax on loose tobacco used in roll-your-own cigarettes would be 25 percent and 15 percent for other tobacco products.

If approved, Prop B would bring in an estimated $283 million to $423 million a year according to an estimate from the state auditor. The proceeds would be divided between K-12 education, higher education and tobacco prevention and education programs.

Ron Leone, executive director of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, said Prop B’s 760 percent increase would be devastating

“It will hurt Missouri consumers, it will force small businesses to close, it will cause people to lose their jobs, and it will generate less tax revenue for local and state coffers that are already stretched thin because of the great recession,” Leon said.

In 2002 and 2006 voters had the choice to raise the cigarette tax, but both ballot measures failed.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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