Missouri Tobacco Tax Faces Uncertainty After Court Ruling

Jul 12, 2016

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A cloud of uncertainty is hanging over a proposed cigarette tax hike after a Missouri appeals court panel changed the wording voters would see on the November ballot. 

The appeals panel ruled that the initiative's summary was insufficient, because it failed to say a new fee could rise annually with inflation. An attorney for the sponsoring group, Raise Your Hand for Kids, says he has asked the full appeals court to reconsider the case and also is prepared to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

The ruling comes as election officials still are trying to determine whether the petition got enough valid signatures. An attorney for a tobacco retailer opposing the measure says the wording change means those signatures should be invalidated.