Missouri ballot brings questions to cigarette tax - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Missouri ballot brings questions to cigarette tax

(Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay)

The Missouri ballot poses questions when it comes to some of the decisions you will be making.

Election Day is right around the corner, when you go to the polls you will notice not one, but two questions on the ballot regarding taxing cigarettes. 

So what does the outcome of your vote mean?

"The fact that there are two separate tax initiatives and that can be really confusing for voters," said Judith Davis, instructor in Social Sciences at Three Rivers College.

On Election Day in Missouri, you will be voting on two ballot measures regarding cigarette taxes.

"Missouri does have the lowest per pack state tax on cigarettes in the whole nation, 17 cents per pack and New York has the highest at a little over $4," Davis said.

Two different ballot measures, Constitutional Amendment 3 and Proposition A.

Amendment 3 would raise cigarette taxes up to sixty cents over several years. Proposition A would raise taxes on cigarettes 23 cents also over several years.

"If we pass proposition A and not the amendment because if we end up passing them both the constitutional amendment will take precedence because it changes the constitution and the other one will go away," Davis said. "We won't do both it, will be one or the other, or neither not both."

Rochelle Allen doesn't smoke but said if these cigarette taxes are passed maybe it would save lives.

"I'm hoping it will help a lot of people stop smoking," Allen said.

Ronald Hawes is a smoker and said, taxes or no taxes, he isn't quitting.

"When it comes to any person or anybody if they raise the taxes that isn't really going to deter them," Hawes said. "They will go to generic cigarettes and still buy cigarettes and still smoke their cigarettes."

Here's a link to the full ballot text.

Amendment Three

Amendment three would increase taxes on cigarettes each year totaling 60 cents until 2020. If passed, cigarette wholesalers would pay the fee each it year. It would be capped at 67 cents.

The estimated revenue of $263 million to $374 million annually would go towards early childhood education health and education.

Proposition A

Proposition A would increase taxes on cigarettes in 2017, 2019 and 2021 adding up to a total of 23 cents, increase the tax paid by sellers and use the money generated to fund transportation infrastructure projects.

The tax would generate $95 million to $103 million annually for transportation infrastructure. Money for local government could decrease by $3 million because of decreased cigarette sales.

Amendment Four

But, amendment four would prohibit a new state or local sales tax or other similar tax on any service or transaction after January 1, 2015.

The result of votes would impact potential costs to state and local government and impact government's ability to revise their tax structures.

According to Davis, cigarettes already have a category tax, but what about e-cigarettes and vaping?

"There is no category for it, if there was no category before January of 2015, it would prevent taxes on those if we pass Amendment 4," Davis said.

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