Tobacco tax efforts draw unexpected support, detractors - KMOV.com

Tobacco tax efforts draw unexpected support, detractors

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV

By JIM SALTER
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri's lowest-in-the-nation tobacco tax will rise if either of two ballot measures passes Nov. 8.

Amendment 3 would add 60 cents to Missouri's 17-cent-per-pack tobacco tax, with the money going to early childhood education. Proposition A would raise the tobacco tax 23 cents for transportation projects.

In a twist, tobacco companies are largely financing the campaigns for both measures. The parent company of R.J. Reynolds has spent $12.4 million to support Amendment 3, which would also add a 67-cent per pack charge for their smaller competitors. Two smaller tobacco firms have spent a combined $6 million to support Proposition A and oppose Amendment 3.

Many health organizations, which would typically support higher tobacco taxes, oppose both proposals.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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