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5:53 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

New bill may cause tax-hike on cigarettes

The latest bill would raise the state’s cigarette tax from 17 cents per pack to a dollar and 9-and-a-half cents per pack.

But it would also rise or fall based on the national average cigarette tax – and it would require a statewide voter referendum.  It’s sponsored by Democrat Jeanette Mott Oxford of St. Louis:

“I can’t see how in the world it would hurt business in any way in this state…what it would do is it would mean a lot of children stop smoking, and what it would do is it would mean that a lot of pregnant women stop smoking, because that’s been the experience in other states.”

Other bills to raise the state’s cigarette tax have been filed by lawmakers from both parties.  But most GOP leaders and Democratic Governor Jay Nixon remain opposed to any tax hike.