Bill would add 16 cents to current cigarette sales tax
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Bill would add 16 cents to current cigarette sales tax

Date: February 3, 2009
By: Rebecca Beitsch
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: Missouri has some of the cheapest cigarettes in the nation but one lawmaker wants the price of lighting up to go up.

Rebecca Beitsch (b-EYE-ch) has more from the capitol.

RunTime:0:36
OutCue: SOC

A St. Louis City Representative is proposing that smoke be used to balance the state's budget.

Democrat Jamilah Nasheed introduced a bill that would add 16 cents to the existing state cigarette tax.

The tax would then be 33 cents per pack.

Nasheed says the tax would bring in 90 million dollars in extra state revenue.

Actuality:  NASHEED1.WAV
Run Time: 00:09
Description: However, I think that we need a permanent fix. And the 90 million dollar infusion when it comes to an increase in taxes on cigarettes is the perfect idea.

Missouri currently has the second lowest cigarette tax in the nation, ahead of South Carolina.

From the capitol, I'm Rebecca Beitsch, 1120 KMOX News.


Intro: In order to battle the state budget shortfall, one state legislator has introduced a bill that would nearly double the tax you pay to light up.

Rebecca Beitsch (b-EYE-ch) has more from the capitol.

RunTime:0:40
OutCue: SOC

The proposal to raise the tax on smokers comes from a St. Louis City Democrat. Representative Jamilah Nasheed said this would bring another 90 million into the state budget, but would only affect one part of the population.

 

Actuality:  NASHEED3.WAV
Run Time: 00:10
Description: And you know, it's like the pay to play. Everyone will not be taxed here in the state of Missouri. Those that will be taxed will be those that smoke cigarettes. If you don't smoke cigarettes, you don't pay.

Representative Nasheed's proposal has not garnered much support from republicans. But the Republican budget chair said Missouri needs to cut programs rather than raise taxes.

Missouri currently has the second lowest cigarette tax in the nation.

From the capitol, I'm Rebecca Beitsch, 1120 KMOX News.


Intro: You would pay 16 cents more per pack of cigarettes under a bill introduced by a St. Louis City Democrat. 

Rebecca Beitsch (b-EYE-ch) has more from the capitol. 

RunTime:0:42
OutCue: SOC

State Representative Jamilah Nasheed said now is the time to stimulate the economy.

Her suggestion?

A 16 cent increase on the cigarette sales tax, an increase the St. Louis City Democrat said will bring in 90 million dollars in state revenue.

 

Actuality:  NASHEED4.WAV
Run Time: 00:16
Description: We cannot depend on the federal agent--the federal government to bail us out every time we're in a financial crisis. And I think what this bill would do is really stimulate our economy by injecting in the economy 90 million dollars which would be permanent.

The Republican budget chair said he intends to vote down the bill, saying we should cut programs rather than find new ways to pay for them.

From the capitol, I'm Rebecca Beitsch, 1120 KMOX News.


Intro: A bill that would nearly double the tax on a pack of cigarettes has not gotten a warm welcome from Republican leadership.

Rebecca Beitsch (B-EYE-ch) has more from the capitol.

RunTime:0:39
OutCue: SOC

A St. Louis City Democrat introduced legislation that would increase the cost of lighting up and she says would increase state revenue, but the bill may not fare well with Republicans.

House Budget Chair Republican Representative Allen Icet, from St. Louis County, said the tax is not a solution to the budget crisis.

Actuality:  ICET.WAV
Run Time: 00:10
Description: Well I assure you if we were to pass that and bring in 90 million, as some point in time we'd be back saying we don't have enough money, we need to pass another tax. Trust me, that's the way this building operates.

Representative Jamilah Nasheed, the bill's sponsor said the bill is a great way to bring in revenue at a time when the state needs it.

From the capitol, I'm Rebecca Beitsch. 1120 KMOX News.