Thursday, June 16, 2011

Let's Clear The Air

Initiative Petition Relating
To Tobacco Taxes
Approved for Circulation for 2012 Ballot

Jefferson City, MO – Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced that an initiative petition relating to tobacco taxes has met state standards for circulation.

The ballot title for the petition reads:
Shall Missouri law be amended to require an additional tax of $1.00 on each package of twenty cigarettes produced by certain tobacco product manufacturers, which tax shall be paid by wholesalers and used solely for tobacco education and cessation programs and for enforcement and administration of the Master Settlement Agreement by the Missouri Attorney General?

Estimated additional revenue to state government from this proposal is $20 million to $100 million annually with limited estimated implementation costs. The revenue will fund only programs and actions allowed by the proposal. No costs or savings are expected for local governments. Any possible change in revenue for local governments is unknown.

The petition, which would amend Chapter 149 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, was submitted by Mr. Marc Ellinger, Healthy Missouri; 308 East High, Ste 301, Jefferson City, MO 65101; 573-634-2500.

Before any statutory changes can be brought before Missouri voters in the November 2012 election, signatures must be obtained from registered voters equal to five (5) percent of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor's election from six of the state's nine congressional districts.

Signatures on behalf of all initiative petitions for the 2012 ballot are due to the Secretary of State’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on May 6, 2012.

Before circulating petitions, state law requires that groups must first have the form of their petition approved by the Secretary of State and Attorney General. The Secretary of State then prepares a summary statement of no more than 100 words and the State Auditor prepares a fiscal impact statement, both of which are subject to the approval of the Attorney General. When both statements are approved, they become the official ballot title.  [Read Online Here]

This will probably come as great news to [Lavender Darwin].  For he just published another rant about how much he hates being around secondhand smoke.  By his standards, [Smokers Ruin Outdoor Concerts For Me] is rather mild, but it still a rant, nonetheless.

The good news (for him) is that [State Representative Chris Kelly, a Columbia democrat] is pushing for a $1.00 increase on cigarette taxes in Missouri, which more than likely seems like a pittance to the citizens of New York.  For the current cigarette tax in Missouri is 17 cents a pack while it is reportedly $4.35 a pack in New York (off the reservation, of course).

Oh, but there is something real peculiar about this new cigarette increase.  For it reportedly only applies to so-called off-brand cigarettes, which are considerably less expensive than those marketed by [Philip Morris] and [RJ Reynolds].

Didn’t he get the memo that democrats are supposed to be the protectors of the poor?  I may be mistaken, but I am fairly sure that it is in that same memo that big tobacco is supposed to have republicans in their pockets.

I first heard about this on a local news broadcast, and now there is apparently no evidence to be found about this new tax only applying to off-brands.  I wonder if big tobacco had something to do with this, as well?

There is something in the press release from the MO Secretary of State, however.  For the ballot initiative stipulates that the new tax would apply to packages of twenty cigarettes produced by certain tobacco product manufactures, which is certainly a strange way to word something that is meant to apply to all manufactures.

I am reevaluating my opposition to the Tea Party, by the way.  For my wife smokes, and life around her when she is trying to quit is not something I would wish upon my worst enemy—be assured!

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LD said...

I give a hearty hoorah for any and all taxes on cigarettes. Now if only they could find a way to tax people who text while they drive, oh how good things would be.

FishHawk said...

Well, that would be one way of getting our country out of debt, my dear Lavender. For if they taxed everything that irritates you, the government would have more money than they could count.

Adullamite said...

Tax them? Lock smokers up is a better idea!

FishHawk said...

Thanks for stopping by again, my dear Lavender!!! Well, it would probably be safer for me in a jail cell when my wife is trying to quit (naturally-speaking, of course).