Secretary of State Kander Says Cigarette Tax Issue Will Go On The Ballot
If voters approve Missouri’s proposed 67-cent per-pack tax on cigarettes, Secretary of State Jason Kander will sign it. Kander said Monday that a court-ordered change to the ballot summary of a proposed cigarette tax increase is not enough to disqualify it from going before voters if it has sufficient petition signatures. The announcement marked at least a temporary victory for supporters of the proposal, however opponents say they are likely to raise a new court challenge if Kander officially certifies the measure for the November ballot. The initiative proposes a gradual 60-cent increase to the state’s lowest in the nation 17-cent-a-pack cigarette tax largely to benefit early childhood programs. It also proposes a 67-cent-a-pack fee on smaller companies that weren’t part of a 1998 settlement between states and big tobacco companies. Earlier this month, an appeals court panel ruled the ballot summary prepared by Kander’s office should be changed to say the fee will rise annually.