A spokesman for the group pushing the 55-cent a pack cigarette tax to be decided by voters next week counters criticism levelled against it. Brad Ketcher is with Citizens for a Healthy Missouri, which is pushing for the tobacco tax increase, Proposition A on the November 5th ballot. He objects to the criticism Missourians Against Unfair Taxes has heaped on the measure, especially that the proposition contains no accountability measures. Ketcher notes Proposition A calls for the creation of the Healthy Family Trust Fund which would collect the tax and distribute it as outlined in the proposal. Ketcher dismisses charges that the dramatic tax increase will drive consumers across the state line to buy cigarettes. He points out Illinois charges 90-cents a pack. Kansas has a cigarette tax of 79-cents a pack. If the proposition is approved by voters, the Missouri tax would total 72 cents. The proposal is estimated to raise more than 340-Million dollars annually. It would mainly fund health-related programs.
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