Opponents of a Tobacco Tax Initiative Say Local Governments Could Lose Money if the Measure Passes

Opponents of a tobacco tax initiative on the Missouri ballot say local governments could lose money if the measure passes. The proposal could raise the state cigarette tax from $0.17 to $0.90 per pack and also increase taxes on other tobacco products. An estimate from the state auditor’s office says it would generate between $283 million and $423 million annually for the state, but an association of convenience stores hired an economist at MU to analyze the issue. That study assumes a higher tax will decrease sales of tobacco products, thus decreasing dales tax revenues for cities and counties.