New Tobacco Tax Petition - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau, MO

New Tobacco Tax Petition

 

New Tobacco Tax Petition
By: Wes Wallace

Missouri voters may decide on a tobacco tax this November. There's a petition going around to collect signatures to raise the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products

Of course, any time you mention more taxes, it gets people talking.

"They're raising taxes on everythin else, I guess this is part of the deal, " says Greg Lingle, a smoker from Lick Creek, Illinois.

"I don't think it's right," says Christina Burton, a non smoker from Cape Girardeau, "we pay enough taxes as it is!"

The group supporting the tax initiative claims an estimated $351 million dollars or more, will go annually for tobacco use prevention programs, treatment of chronic diseases and medical conditions, health care access, and other medical services.

However, it's not on the November ballot yet. More than ten thousand signatures need to be collected on a petition for that to happen.

If it does pass with Missouri voters, it'll mean smokers will pay 80 cents more per pack, and about eight dollars more for a carton.

Greg Lingle explains he doesn't want to pay more money for his smokes, but he's not opposed to giving extra cash to a good cause. "As long as they put it where it's supposed to, I don't have a big problem with it. Just so they don't give it away to something that doesn't need the money."

Christina Burton works at the Discount Smoke Shop in Cape Girardeau. Although she doesn't smoke herself, she says it'll not only hurt business, it'll hurt the state too.

"If the prices go up on cigarettes and other tobacco products, it's gonna go down on the lottery and the state's gonna be hurting themselves, because we sell a lotta lottery tickets."

Currently, Missouri has the second lost cigarette tax at 17 cents a pack. If passed, the new proposal would raise it to about 97 cents a pack.

The national average is at 93 cents.

The tobacco tax would also increase the tax on other products like cigars and smokeless tobacco by twenty percent.

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