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Nixon seeks to stay out of Mo. tobacco tax debate

Nixon seeks to stay out of Mo. tobacco tax debate

April 30th, 2012 in News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon says he does not intend to get involved in a campaign to raise Missouri's lowest-in-nation cigarette tax.

Supporters are expected to turn in petition signatures this week for a November ballot initiative asking voters to raise the Missouri's tax on a pack of cigarettes to 90 cents from the current 17 cents.

Nixon said Monday his focus is "to hold the line on taxes" but Missouri voters are entitled to voice their own opinions at the ballot box.

The state auditor estimates the initiative would generate between $283 million and $423 million annually for Missouri's budget.

Asked if he would encourage voters to support the initiative, Nixon replied that he does not intend to get involved in any significant way.