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Opposition to a Potential Tobacco Tax Increase

October 5, 2005
By: Jonathan Levin
State Capital Bureau

The on going petition drive to try and increase the state tobacco tax has some Missourians smoking mad. Jonathan Levin has more from the state capital.

Opposition is begining to emerge to a tobacoo tax increase supporters hope is headed for the November 2006 ballot. The Committee for a Healthy Future is attempting to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would increase tax on a pack of cigarrets by 80 cents.

The revenue generated would go towards smoking prevention, health access cards for the uninsured and supplemental payments to various medical services treating the poor.

Ronald Leone from the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store association says this is just a regressive tax used to hurt the poor and help the doctors.

Actuality:
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Contents: So it's essentially a tax increase on a minority population, a large portion of which are poor in order to fatten the pocketbooks wallets of doctors, hospitals, and prescription drug companies

A spokesperson for the state hospital association says the tax is needed not only to cut back on smoking, but to provide doctors adequate funds to cover their costs of treating the poor.

The Petition would require almost 150,000 to go before the voters in just over a years time.