Missouri approves petitions to tax tobacco

Missouri’s Secretary of State has now approved more than a dozen petitions related to the taxing of tobacco products.  But a lot fewer are likely to end up in circulation.  Of those remaining, the aims may be very different.  

By Elana Gordon, KCUR.

It’s pretty common for groups to file several versions of a petition.  That’s certainly the case for Misty Snodgrass, with the American Cancer Society who’s leading efforts to raise Missouri’s cigarette tax from 17 cents a pack – the lowest in the country – to 90 cents.

"On our behalf," said Snodgrass, "I would say it’s upwards of 10 or 15, but we will only be running with 1 version."

Snodgrass says the petition differences are technical, but she expects to start collecting signatures on one of them by next month.  Two other petition efforts have also gotten state approval, but one that would only affect taxes on small tobacco companies, has been withdrawn.  The petition organizer says he has no plans to resubmit.

The other approved petitions would let cities set and control taxes on tobacco products, which he state currently pre-empts.