Cigarette tax increase ballot issue faces new challenge
JEFFERSON CITY- Supporters of a cigarette tax increase face a new challenge in getting the tax hike on the ballot.
The Secretary of State proposed adding an additional five words to the proposal, potentially setting back the petition from being on the November ballot.
The original proposal portion reads:
"Create a fee paid by cigarette wholesalers of 67 cents per pack of 20 on certain cigarettes"
The five words asked to be added to that are:
"Which fee shall increase annually."
Raise Your Hand for Kids general consultant James Harris said, "the five words could open up a lawsuit by the opposing side, which leads to uncertainty for citizens that signed this petition."
The program got more than 330,000 signatures for the tax initiative.
Smoker Barry Jordan opposes the tax, calling it an undue burden. "Cigarettes are already expensive enough. You're involving children with tobacco? That doesn't seem right," Jordan said.