Local groups meeting Thursday to propose MO tobacco tax increase - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Local groups meeting Thursday to propose MO tobacco tax increase

(KFVS) -

Three local groups will be meeting Thursday morning to propose an increase in the Missouri state tobacco tax.

The Alliance for Childhood Education and Missouri Wonk in partnership with the United Way of Southeast Missouri will meet at 11:30 a.m. to discuss an initiative for Missouri children that would involve a 50 cent tax increase. The increase would fund investments in early childhood and health services.

The groups plan to also discuss what the increase would mean for folks in the area in addition to gathering feedback for policy structure and the allocation of resources.

Nancy Jernigan with the United Way of Southeast Missouri says the increase is truly important for local families.

"Early childhood education is the most important time in a child's educational life. Providing opportunities, particularly to our low income families, to expose kids to the quality education that they need at that time of their life is very, very important," according to Jernigan.

She also says the groups are working locally to find out which needs could be filled by the tax increase.

"People want to know who's going to oversee the funds and how are they going to be allocated. They want to make sure people are accountable, that there's transparency. You just can't pass a tax without being specific about what the money is going to be used for."

Those who oppose the proposed tax increase say it is unfair to smokers. Others say the tax should be on something that more people buy so more people can contribute. 

You can read more comments regarding the proposed increase and add your thoughts by clicking here

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