WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Dueling Missouri Tobacco Tax Initiatives Causing Confusion

Oct 23, 2016

Missouri voters face the confusing prospect of two separate proposals on the same ballot that would increase the state's lowest-in-the-nation tobacco tax by different amounts.

But what if they both pass? Even the Missouri Attorney General and Secretary of State offices aren't sure, conceding that the courts might be left to sort it out.

In a nation where the average pack of cigarettes is taxed $1.65, Missouri's tax is just 17 cents. Amendment 3 would raise the tax by 60 cents in phases through 2020 to pay for early childhood programs.

Meanwhile, Proposition A on the same ballot would raise the tobacco tax 13 cents in January, another 5 cents in 2019 and a final 5 cents in 2021. The additional money would fund transportation infrastructure projects.