Members of the Pattonville Board of Education expressed support for a cigarette tax increase that would increase revenue for public schools.
During the Oct. 9 board meeting, the board unanimously passed a resolution supporting Proposition B, which will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Voters are being asked to consider a 73-cent per pack tax increase on cigarettes.
Currently, smokers pay 17-cents tax per pack, which is the lowest cigarette tax in the country. Surrounding states all have higher cigarette taxes: Iowa $1.36 per pack, Illinois 98 cents per pack, Kentucky 60 cents per pack, Tennessee 62 cents per pack, Arizona $1.15 per pack, Oklahoma $1.03 per pack, Kansas 79 cents per pack and Nebraska 64 cents per pack.
If Prop B is approved, it is expected to generate about $283 million a year. Twenty percent of proceeds would go toward tobacco prevention efforts, 30 percent could go to higher education and 50 percent would go to public school districts.
Funds would be distributed to k-12 schools based on average daily attendance. The first year of funding would be in the 2013-14 school year.
Opponents of Prop B have decried it as a 760 percent tax increase. The proposition is opposed by the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, which says this would hurt Missouri's competitive advantage against other states.