Pattonville School Board Backs Prop B Cigarette Tax Hike

Prop B would increase taxes by 73 cents a pack and would raise up to $140 million for public schools a year.

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. 

john davidson October 15, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Cigarette smuggling a growing problem in Maryland Harsher penalties considered BERLIN -- The number of people caught smuggling untaxed cigarettes into Maryland is on the rise, and it's costing the state hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost tax revenue, authorities say. "If they can buy them in Virginia or the Carolinas for $5 a pack, they can go up to New York and sell them for $15 a pack, so they triple their money," said Detective Sgt. Richard Klebon with the Berlin Barrack of the Maryland State Police. Law enforcement efforts ultimately aim to keep the tax dollars in Maryland; the state levies a $2-per-pack tax. As far as the Comptroller of Maryland is concerned, cigarette smuggling is a big business with little risk. Comptroller Peter Franchot "has always been a strong proponent for aggressive enforcement of Maryland's tax laws," said his spokeswoman, Christine Feldmann. "It's a matter of fairness. Criminals who knowingly violate Maryland's tax laws hurt small businesses who follow the rules. It's about leveling the playing field." She said typically when smugglers are caught, they can face criminal charges of transporting and possession of untaxed cigarettes. The transporting charge is a felony, and carries a fine of $50 per carton as well as the threat of up to two years in prison. Possession is a misdemeanor and can bring up to a $1,000 fine and a year in prison.
john davidson October 15, 2012 at 02:14 PM
"It's happening every day because the penalty if you get caught is not very bad," she said, and as a result, "we've had multiple repeat offenders." So far, state police at the Berlin Barrack are on track to seize about four times more cigarettes than last year. They had four arrests that yielded 1,737 cartons in 2011. This year, they've already made five arrests and seized about 1,600 cartons. Troopers out of Berlin made two arrests in 2009 for 88 cartons. No arrests were made in 2008 or 2010, Klebon said. It's against the law to enter Maryland with more than two packs of cigarettes purchased out-of-state. If someone has any more untaxed smokes than that, the law says the person is transporting untaxed contraband. http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20120331/NEWS01/203310329/Cigarette-smuggling-growing-problem-Maryland
john davidson October 15, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Taxes are the problem and that problem was created by the anti-smoking agenda and like alcohol prohibition is already doomed to failure. Missourri is reaping the benefits of having low taxes as out of staters head to the state to purchase low tax cigarettes legally.................Costing their home states big revenues and causing illegal trade due to high taxes!
john davidson October 15, 2012 at 02:18 PM
You seem to forget Nancy Pelosi,Reid and owebama rasied the federal tax or SCHIP by 2400% on a pack of smokes causing the problem to begin with.
SavEcig October 16, 2012 at 04:14 AM
I was against cigarette taxes when I was a smoker. But since I switched to electronic cigarettes two years ago, I don't have to worry about smoking bans, tar, smell or really high cigarette taxes! http://www.savecig.com


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