Missouri Plan to Increase Sale Taxes on Cigarettes

Published on August 4th, 2011 13:01

Missouri lawmakers declared that they plan to raise the sales tax on tobacco products in order to increase state funds for education. But a new advice to raise taxes on generic-brand cigarettes is not exactly what they planned to implement. Also some are afraid that two distinctive tobacco taxes will muddle the state’s residents.

Recently, the Missouri Secretary of State’s office adopted a ballot initiative that would raise taxes on particular brands of cigarettes by $1. If organizers collect sufficient number of signatures, voters would decide the future of the tax in 2012.

The application was filed by Marc Ellinger, a Jefferson City lawyer who didn’t comment on the issue. But he told another media that the proposal was the idea of those interested in “settling inequities” within the industry.

smoking cigarette

Under consideration is the fact that four giant tobacco enterprises in the United States allocated the funds for smoking-related medical costs in accordance with an out-of-court settlement reached in 1998. At present, smaller tobacco enterprises in Missouri do not allocate anything into that fund. Some experts state that this allows generic brand products a cost advantage. That is a completely other issue that increasing cigarette taxes in order to generate new stat dollars.

State representatives Still and Chris Kelly have been prompting or Missourians to think about increasing the tobacco tax as a way to rise funding for education. They declare that tax has a proved sense because, at 17% per package, Missouri has one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the country. “We could increase it by 12 cents and still continue to be the lowest,” Still stated.

Neither Governor Jay Nixon nor the legislature has demonstrated much interest in putting on the list for ballot. But it could receive a vote through the petition process. Currently are conducted a lot of discussions under way to do just that, stated Warren Erdman, representative of the Board of Curators. “There are Missourians, which are interested in examining the possibility of taking advantage of the initiative process in order to offer Missouri the opportunity to increase taxes and do it in a way that it’s bearing of things relevant to Missourians, he stated. Erdman stated that he is active with a group examining that possibility. I become more and more assured with each week that we will be able to realize something together.”

Kelly is afraid, that having two different cigarette tax initiatives will bewilder citizens being asked to sign the ballot applications. “It is a rather complicated issue, he stated, underlining that the $1 proposal abashes any reasonable discussion of tobacco taxes.” And Kelly and Still think whether that is the point of the first offer.

By Joanna Johnson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2011 TobaccoPub.com. All rights reserved.

Related tags: cigarettes sales | cigarettes tax | missouri | cigarettes prices

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