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Missouri Viewpoints Examines the Effort to Raise Taxes on Tobacco

Missouri Viewpoints Mike FergusonMissouri Viewpoints” is a weekly non-partisan news, information, and public affairs program that is produced by Mike Ferguson. The show is on television and radio throughout Missouri. The Northland News encourages it’s readers to be informed on issues at the local and state level. Missouri Viewpoints is the best place for an informed, respectful dialogue on topics that affect Missourians. For more information on our Opinion Section please click here.

(St. Charles, MO) – Missouri has the lowest sales tax on tobacco in America and, so far, voters have made sure to keep it that way.

In recent years, Missourians have turned down three different proposals to increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products. That’s not deterring some groups from trying again. Multiple efforts are underway to put different tobacco tax proposals on the ballot in 2016.

Missouri Viewpoints highlighted one of those earlier this year. Click here to hear from a supporter and an opponent of the “Raise Your Hand For Kids” tax increase effort.

Now, a previous opponent of efforts to hike taxes on tobacco is now promoting their own proposals to do just that.

Ron Leone from the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association explains why they aren’t just behind the concept this year, they are actually proposing a couple versions of an initiative that would increase the tax.

His primary complaint about past proposals is that they were, in his opinion, excessive. His organization’s proposals are lower than what’s been on the ballot in previous years. One of their proposals would direct the funds towards highways and transportation needs in the state. The other would add to the general revenue the state government takes in each year.

Patrick Werner from Americans for Prosperity (below, right) has a different take on the approach. He calls for further reductions in spending and business-friendly reforms if lawmakers want to increase spending on children’s programs (as called for in the “Raise Your Hand” campaign) or for transportation or any other need.

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