"Missouri Promise" initiative will not appear on 2016 ballot

Dec 1, 2015

Missouri higher education leaders have dropped plans for a potential 2016 ballot initiative to raise cigarette taxes for college scholarship funds because of other cigarette tax initiatives already on the ballot.
Credit Adam Procter / Flickr

Missouri higher education leaders have dropped plans for a potential 2016 ballot measure that would have raised cigarette taxes to fund college scholarships.

Supporters of the "Missouri Promise" initiative announced their decision Monday. They said competition from two other cigarette tax proposals would have made it difficult to raise enough money to hire petition circulators and promote their initiative.

The proposal would have raised cigarette taxes by somewhere between 70 cents and $1 a pack, with the proceeds going to scholarships for students maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA.

One rival proposal seeks to increase cigarette taxes by 60 cents a pack to fund early childhood education and health initiatives.

A convenience store association has proposed a 23-cent increase, with revenues going either to transportation or the state's general fund.