Petitions submitted for Mo. tobacco tax increase

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A coalition seeking to raise Missouri's tax on cigarettes has submitted petitions to put an increase in tobacco taxes on the November ballot.

The proposal would ask voters to raise the tax to 90 cents per pack from the current 17 cents, the lowest in the nation. State taxes on other tobacco products would also rise.

The measure's backers, who include the American Cancer Society, said Friday they have submitted petitions with nearly 220,000 signatures to the secretary of state's office. The measure needs between 91,000 and 99,600 valid signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

Missouri voters have twice rejected increases in the cigarette tax in the past 10 years.

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