Kander will OK tobacco tax for vote if signatures verified

6 months 2 hours 49 minutes ago July 18, 2016 Jul 18, 2016 Monday, July 18 2016 Monday, July 18, 2016 4:32:00 PM CDT in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander said a court-ordered change to a proposed tobacco tax is not enough to disqualify it from the ballot.

Kander told local election authorities Monday to continue verifying petition signatures submitted for the proposal. If the measure has enough valid signatures, Kander said he will certify it for the November ballot.

The measure proposes a gradual 60-cent increase to the state's 17-cent-a-pack cigarette tax. It also proposes a 67-cent-a-pack fee on companies that weren't part of a 1998 settlement between states and big tobacco companies.

An appeals court ruled the ballot summary prepared by Kander's office should be changed to say the fee will rise annually.

The opponents' attorney, Chuck Hatfield, said he likely will sue again if Kander certifies the measure for the ballot.

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