Some smokers say 'here we go again' to proposed tobacco tax

1 year 3 months 2 weeks ago Monday, May 09 2016 May 9, 2016 Monday, May 09, 2016 12:58:00 PM CDT May 09, 2016 in News
By: Alyssa Casares, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - A proposed 60 cent tobacco tax increase could be added to the November ballot.

The Raise Your Hand for Kids (RYH4K) campaign committee and Nixa announced Monday it submitted more than 320,000 signatures meeting the constitutional requirement to put the tax increase on the ballot.

Linda Rallo is the RYH4K executive director and said money from the tax would go toward early childhood education.

"As a lot of you know we do not make kids a priority in our state," Rallo said "Our funding levels for early childhood education are very, very low. So this is a huge opportunity to turn that around."

Rallo said the tax would be phased in over four years, peaking at $300 million dollars annually.

"Seventy-five to 85 percent of the funds will be for childhood education," Rallo said. "Ten to 15 percent of the funds are for hospitals and health care organizations so they can deliver preventative health services for children ages birth through five. And five to 10 percent of those funds will be for smoking cessation for pregnant moms and for youth."

Alec Stanley is the store manager at We B Smokin and said the effort for a higher tobacco tax isn't anything new.

"It's just like 'this again?" Stanley said. "It just seems like it's always something people are ready to do."

Stanley said he understands tobacco is cheaper in Missouri than surrounding states but said he is wary about how the money would be used.

"I think that's a noble gesture," Stanley said. "I think that we can all agree that education is important and that we should be funding our school programs. But I question how effective that is going to be. I mean we've seen in the past targeted revenue streams that are supposed to go to education. You look at how well the lottery is funding education. It seems like a lot of that money ends up in a lot of places that is not where it's supposed to go."

Missouri currently has the lowest tobacco tax in the United States at 17 cents per pack compared to the national average of $1.61.

Former State Representative John Wright said there is no substitute for high quality education.

"Here in the state of Missouri we spend nearly $2 billion dollars a year treating smoking related illness," Wright said. "Nearly half of which is taxpayer money to VA hospitals, Medicare and Medicaid. That is not a formula for success. This initiative will help empower our children here in Missouri to grow up to be the next generation of entrepreneurs, and scientists and doctors and nurses and teachers and civic leaders."

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
ASHLAND - Fire gutted a home on Eastside Drive in Ashland on Wednesday night. Three nearby buildings were damaged. ... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 8:18:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Highway Patrol anticipated the 2017 eclipse would cause problems on highways and roads in mid-Missouri.... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 7:40:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Art is food for the soul and the economy. According to a new study, the nonprofit arts... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 6:39:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County Sheriff's deputies, state troopers and a SWAT team on Wednesday surrounded a home where an... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 5:55:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - High speeds and heavy traffic along Rollins Road resulted in a public forum Wednesday night. Columbia Public Works... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 4:55:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - On Friday, The University of Missouri Board of Curators are expected to approve the Memorial Stadium South Expansion... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:58:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens once again pushed for Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-St. Louis) to resign after her... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:42:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Graduate students at the University of Missouri say while they've achieved a lot of success in the past... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:41:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The solar eclipse has come and gone, and Columbia is saying the once-in-a-lifetime event brought around $1.36 million... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens announced appointments to several boards and commissions, including three new members of... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:25:30 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Traffic in downtown Columbia is already chaotic, especially due to the ongoing construction near campus. Throw in... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:25:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Powerball jackpot has reached its' second highest total in history, estimated at $700 million, which someone could... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 2:30:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are looking for the man they say fired shots at a vehicle. Investigators say a... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 2:26:43 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
CUBA, Mo. (AP) — A Native American tribe in Oklahoma is hiring lobbyists in its bid to open a casino... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 2:16:26 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Three people are recovering from injuries after strong turbulence forced a regional airline plane to divert... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 2:05:07 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Just months after dismantling a Confederate memorial, the city of St. Louis has torn up a... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 1:04:28 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — There's a new website aimed at providing sexual harassment resources to interns following past allegations... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 12:37:57 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Governor Eric Greitens says if a state lawmaker who expressed hope on Facebook that... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 12:25:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 64°
11pm 63°
12am 62°
1am 60°
2am 60°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
10:00p
The King of Queens
10:30p
The King of Queens
11:00p
Rules of Engagement

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
8:01p
Marlon
8:30p
Marlon
9:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld