Missourians to face 2 ballot initiatives on cigarette taxes on November ballot

(KPLR) – Smoking will certainly be a centerpiece of the November election ballot in Missouri.

You will get to vote on two separate ballot issues that aim to raise the cigarette tax.

Sadly the more you dig into the language on the ballot, the more confusing it gets.

We already know that Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the country.  These ballot issues may change that.

One is a state statute called Prop A.  The other is a constitutional amendment known as Amendment 3.

Amendment 3 would increase taxes on cigarettes by 60-cents over the next four years.

The group called Raise Your Hands for Kids' is helping drive support for the tax increase.

Tobacco company Reynolds American has sent $2-million dollars to that group to help pass it.

They are reportedly supporting it because they believe it would end the price advantage for smaller tobacco companies.

The money raised from this cigarette tax would go towards the newly established Early Childhood Health and Education Trust Fund.

The other is Prop A.  This proposition would increase cigarette taxes 23-cents over several years.

That money would go directly into the transportation infrastructure fund that would be used to fix Missouri roads.

There has been some early polling done about the tobacco taxes.  It seems that most Missourians support a tobacco tax hike.

But it`s hard to say if those polls are accurate because the surveys were taken before the issues were fully explained to voters.

The Missouri Secretary of State says it may ultimately be up to the court to decide which or if both stay on the books.