Columbia's school board has come out in favor of a state ballot measure that would raise the state's cigarette tax and possibly bring money to public schools.
Proposition B is a proposed tobacco tax on November's ballot. It would raise taxes on cigarettes purchased in Missouri, which is currently ranked 11th in smoking rates and has the lowest cigarette tax of any state. The proposed tax would move Missouri to 36th place in nation-wide cigarette taxes and some of the money collected would be used to fund public schools.
Columbia School Board member Jonathan Sessions says the money will be appreciated but he is more interested in the impact on smoking rates.
“Evidence shows that this price increase could be a barrier to youth beginning smoking at such an early age, and that’s my primary reason for being in support of Proposition B," Sessions says.
The school board approved the motion to officially be in favor of the bill by a vote of 7-1. School Board President Tom Rose dissented, saying he felt there wasn’t enough opportunity for public comment on the issue.