KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The head of a trade group that successfully lobbied against an increase in Missouri’s tobacco tax says he offered to support a smaller hike earlier this year, but nobody took him up on it.
Voters on Tuesday rejected a sharp increase in the state’s lowest-in-the-nation tobacco excise tax. It was the third time the proposal was rejected in a decade. The measure failed by less than 1 percent.
Proposition B would have raised the excise tax on cigarettes from 17 cents per pack to 90 cents, with the revenue earmarked for education and smoking cessation programs.
Ron Leone, whose Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association opposed the increase, says his group would not oppose doubling the tax. But he says the increase sought in Tuesday’s proposition was too high.