Higher education leaders drop plans for cigarette tax hike
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri higher education leaders have dropped plans for a potential 2016 ballot measure that would have raised taxes on cigarettes to fund college scholarships.
Supporters of the "Missouri Promise" initiative announced their decision Monday. They said competition from two other cigarette tax proposals would have made it difficult to raise enough money to hire petition circulators and promote their initiative.
The proposal would have raised cigarette taxes by somewhere between 70 cents and $1 a pack, with the proceeds going to scholarships for students maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA.
One rival proposal seeks to increase cigarette taxes by 50 cents a pack to fund early childhood education.
A convenience store association has proposed a 23-cent increase, with revenues going either to transportation or the state's general fund.