Court Ruling Allows Missouri to Vote on Tobacco Tax Hike for Pre-K Services

By Daarel Burnette II — August 25, 2016 1 min read
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A Missouri court ruled this week that a question can be placed on the November ballot that asks voters whether they want to significantly increase the state’s cigarette-only tax in order to pay for early-childhood services, according to the Associated Press.

The ballot measure will ask voters whether to hike cigarette taxes by 60 cent-per-pack between 2017 and 2020. With a 23-cents-a-pack tax, the state has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the country.

Opponents to the ballot measure argued that the petition used to get it on the ballot should be thrown out because it was based on a slightly different question than will be end up on the ballot. A lower court tweaked the language of the question after the petition was submitted.

Having the petition thrown out would have resulted in the ballot measure being tossed, too.

But the Cole County Circuit Court said Monday that the questions on both the petition and the one set to be on the ballot are ultimately the same.

Maine, Missouri, Oklahoma and Oregon will all have ballot questions this November that ask residents whether to raise taxes to benefit education programs.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.