Initiative petition on local cigarette taxes approved for circulation

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced that an initiative petition relating to local taxes on cigarettes or tobacco products has met state standards for circulation.

The ballot title for the petition reads:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

• allow voters in counties and the City of St. Louis to set and control local taxes on cigarettes or tobacco products within their county or city; and

• use the proceeds of such taxes for local job creation, health care, public education, reduction and prevention of tobacco use, or other uses specifically approved by such local voters?

This proposal has no fiscal impact (change in costs, savings, or revenues) for state and local governmental entities as it will only enact enabling legislation allowing the establishment of local tobacco taxes that may or may not be submitted to and approved by voters.

The petition, which seeks to amend Article X of the Missouri Constitution, was submitted by Mr. Mark Reading, 2604 Lakeland Dr., Jefferson City, MO 65109.

Before any constitutional changes can be brought before Missouri voters in the November 2012 election, signatures must be obtained from registered voters equal to eight (8) percent of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor's election from six of the state's nine congressional districts.

Signatures on behalf of all initiative petitions for the 2012 ballot are due to the Secretary of State’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on May 6, 2012.

Before circulating petitions, state law requires that groups must first have the form of their petition approved by the Secretary of State and Attorney General. The Secretary of State then prepares a summary statement of no more than 100 words and the State Auditor prepares a fiscal impact statement, both of which are subject to the approval of the Attorney General. When both statements are approved, they become the official ballot title.

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