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

3 years 2 weeks 12 hours 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
COLUMBIA - A man involved in a car crash on I-70 May 16 has died from his injuries. William... More >>
31 minutes ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Missouri River has completely overflowed its banks near the end of South Route N. near Ashland.... More >>
46 minutes ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 6:16:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City is offering instructions on how to get rid of the debris created by Wednesday's tornado.... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 5:08:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Insurance agents are warning people hit by Wednesday's tornado to be careful about signing repair contracts. ... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 3:26:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Volunteers from all over Jefferson City are working to help those affected by the tornado. The... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 2:37:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Members from House of Refuge are keeping their faith after Wednesday's tornado completely destroyed their church. ... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 1:37:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Top Stories
ROCHEPORT - The 11th annual Pedaler's Jamboree bike ride got a good start Friday, and Missouri River levels are falling.... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 10:47:00 AM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Friday signed a bill that bans abortions on or beyond the... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 10:32:00 AM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Task Force 1 has deactivated from Jefferson City after an EF-3 tornado swept through the area... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 9:11:00 AM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - As Jefferson City continues to clean up from the tornado on Wednesday night, it still has to... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 12:51:00 AM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- During the chaos of the tornado in Jefferson City, one cheerleading and "American Ninja Warrior" gym got torn... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 12:15:00 AM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Volunteers from around Missouri came out to help with the disaster that Wednesday night's EF-3 tornado brought... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, May 23 2019 May 23, 2019 Thursday, May 23, 2019 11:52:00 PM CDT May 23, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Office of Administration said Wednesday's tornado "caused significant roof damage" to two buildings at the... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, May 23 2019 May 23, 2019 Thursday, May 23, 2019 10:54:00 PM CDT May 23, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Students who visited the Simonsen Ninth Grade Center in Jefferson City Thursday said it is heartbreaking to... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, May 23 2019 May 23, 2019 Thursday, May 23, 2019 9:17:00 PM CDT May 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri's U.S. Senators both voted yes Thursday on a disaster aid bill that includes fresh resources for farms... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 23 2019 May 23, 2019 Thursday, May 23, 2019 5:38:00 PM CDT May 23, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Resources are available across the area for those affected by tornadoes in Jefferson City and Eldon Wednesday... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 23 2019 May 23, 2019 Thursday, May 23, 2019 5:02:00 PM CDT May 23, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Residents of the eastern part of Jefferson City spent much of Thursday cleaning debris. Andrew Buchanan,... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 23 2019 May 23, 2019 Thursday, May 23, 2019 2:40:00 PM CDT May 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - An all-out cleanup effort is underway in Jefferson City, where fallen roofs, busted windows, scattered trees and downed... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 23 2019 May 23, 2019 Thursday, May 23, 2019 2:15:00 PM CDT May 23, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 85°
7pm 79°
8pm 78°
9pm 76°
10pm 75°