skip to nav skip to content
Image by KTTS News
Backers of an increase in the Missouri cigarette tax have been traveling the state in a school bus promoting the benefits of Proposition B that will appear on the November ballot.
During the Springfield visit in a parking lot across from Parkview High School, leaders talked about an estimated 280 million in added revenue for schools. Springfield School Board member Gerry Lee says the Springfield share is estimated at 3.7 million annually. It would also set aside money for stop smoking programs.
American Heart Association spokesman Steven Hall says higher taxes is one of the most effective ways to keep people from smoking.
Also on the tour was Columbia State Representative Chris Kelly who says Proposition B would provide funds to train doctors who would practice in rural areas of the state. Some of that training through the University of Missouri would take place in Springfield at both Cox and Mercy Health.
If voters approve in November, Missouri's 17 cent tobacco tax would be increased by 73 cents. It is currently the lowest in the nation.
The same day Prop B backers came to Springfield, several gas stations around town could be seen showing opposition to Prop B on their signage. The Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association released a statement explaining its opposition.
Here is the press release, including quotes from MU economist Joseph Haslag:
ECONOMIST: PROPOSITION B HURTS ALL MISSOURIANS
Ballot Measure to Raise Taxes by 760%,
Eliminate Over $67 Million in State and Local Funds
Jefferson City University of Missouri-Columbia economist, Joseph Haslag, recently conducted an analysis of Proposition B's outrageous and unfair 760% tax increase. Haslag finds that despite what proponents say, Prop B negatively impacts all taxpayers and not just smokers.
"The price increase will have adverse effects on the state, county, and municipal revenues that rely on cigarette purchases," reports Haslag. "Fiscal impacts will be widespread and felt by every political subdivision in the State of MissouriŠno one will be held harmless if Proposition B passes."
In his study, Professor Haslag finds Proposition B will decrease state, county, and municipal revenues by at least $67 million. The decreases are found with reductions to the State School Money Fund, the Health Initiative Fund, the Fair Share Fund, state sales tax and local cigarette excise taxes.
Attached are relevant portions of Haslag's report.
"While proponents of Prop B travel the state on their bus tour, will they be stopping by schools to tell teachers and students to expect education funding to fall? Will they go to homes and inform families that essential services could see a decrease in revenue," commented Ron Leone, Executive Director of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association. "Those who support Prop B say money will be go to education, but the only guarantee is that education and essential state and local services will lose money."
The Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association is a statewide trade association with over 450 members that represents the majority of gas stations, convenience stores, petroleum marketers and retail suppliers located all across Missouri. A large portion of MPCA members consist of second and third generation family-owned and operated small businesses.
|Submit photos to: