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.
A ballot measure that would raise Missouri’s cigarette tax is starting to catch fire.
Leaders of the effort to raise the state’s tobacco tax are making stops across Missouri through the end of this week, to places like here to Lee’s Summit, Mo. on a yellow school bus.
Misty Snodgrass, with the American Cancer Society says a jump in the state’s cigarette tax, currently the lowest in the country, to 90 cents a pack would help reign in the state’s high smoking rate while directing half of that added tax revenue into schools.
A proposition on the November ballot that aims to increase the tobacco tax is picking up support. Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education is the latest to advocate for higher tax rates on cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Proposition B represents the third attempt to increase Missouri’s low tax rate on tobacco products, and while previous proposals were turned down by the state’s residents in 2002 and 2006, this year’s version has steadily gained support.
Initiatives that would cap payday loan interest rates, raise the Missouri minimum wage, and raise the state's tobacco tax are a step closer to the November ballot, after a Missouri Supreme Court ruling yesterday. The three initiatives were tied up for months in court – one judge struck down the payday petition, ruling the ballot summary was "likely to deceive petition signers." But yesterday, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld all three ballot summaries.
A new report by the American Lung Association gives Missouri failing grades on all its state tobacco control policies. As St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra reports, the only bright spots were an expansion of state Medicaid coverage for smokers wanting to quit, and a surge in local community initiatives.