The legal fight continues Thursday about the validity of a proposed increase in Missouri’s tobacco tax. The group known as “Raise Your Hand for Kids” wants Missouri voters to endorse in November’s general election a tax hike that would help fund early childhood programs.
The tax would increase 60 cents to $1.27 per pack for certain cigarettes each year for five years. It is projected to raise about $300 million a year when fully phased in.
Opponents claim the petition signatures are invalid because the ballot initiative language changed after signatures were gathered. Five words were added to the initiative specifying that the tax would increase for certain brands during a five year period.
Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation – 17 cents a pack.