Proposal to raise cigarette tax & put proceeds towards MO roads looks to be on November ballot | Planetizen: The independent resource for people passionate about planning and related fields

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

"The Missouri Marketers and Convenience Store Association [sic] has collected enough signatures to ask voters if the state’s cigarette tax should be increased by 23 cents per pack to help pay for transportation," writes Alisa Nelson for Missourinet. "Missouri’s cigarette tax is the lowest in the nation, at 17 cents per pack."

The measure will appear on the November 8 ballot. . . .

The state gas tax may not be the lowest, but at 17.3 cents per gallon, only Oklahoma, South Carolina, New Jersey and Alaska, in that order, had lower gas taxes as of April 16, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

MoBikeFed comment: Note that the proposal is supported by the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association; part of their goal is to get a small tobacco tax increase in place in order to pre-empt any potential larger tobacco tax increases. The initiative includes language that attempts to prevent any further taxes on tobacco products.

Another competing initiative would raise the tobacco tax by 60 cents per pack and use the proceeds to fund childhood health:

http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/the-buzz/article...

Note that the linked article is incorrect when it states that voters will choose between Version 79 and Version 80 of this proposal. Only Version 80, which requires using cigarette tax proceeds for transportation infrastructure, will be on the ballot.

The competing proposal that WILL be on the ballot is the 60 cent proposal benefiting childhood health.

Read Ballotpedia for more information and pro/con on both of these proposals:

https://ballotpedia.org/Missouri_23_Cent_Cigarette_Tax_Initiative_%28201...

One positive of the proposal is that it dedicates funding to a new "transportation infrastructure fund" which allows funding for all types of transportation. Current fuel tax dollars go into the state road fund, which is restricted to use on state roads and highways only.

We and our allied groups have worked to opposed transportation funding proposals focused only on highways, and support proposals that allow funding of all transportation needs, whether highways, roads, transit, biking, walking, or others.

Full text of the proposal tobacco tax initiative is here:

http://s1.sos.mo.gov/CMSImages/Elections/Petitions/2016-080.pdf

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