The newest petition approved for statewide circulation would increase the tax on SOME cigarettes. But the person who filed the petition for certification is vague about who’s behind it.
If voters send the issue to next year’s ballot and then approve it at the polls, people buying low-cost cigarettes that are not made by the major companies like R.J. Reynolds, Phillip Morris, Brown and Williamson, and Lorillard would pay an extra dollar in taxes. Users of the products of Big Tobacco would not pay any more.
Jefferson City Attorney Mark Ellinger says the idea come up during a meeting of “a grass roots group of people” looking for a way to fix “inequities in the system.” He would not respond to a question about whether the “grass roots group” included representatives of Big Tobacco.
A discussion on one of the last days of the legislative session focused on special interest groups trying to buy laws with misleading campaigns…One senator says it’s Big Tobacco going after Little Tobacco.
Ellinger claims not to know if the grass roots group will go forward with a campaign.