(Columbia) (AP) – None of Missouri’s governor candidates support an effort to increase cigarette taxes and then use the funds for education and tobacco prevention.
The measure on the November ballot would raise Missouri’s cigarette tax to 90 cents. It currently is 17 cents, which is the nation’s lowest. The tax increase is expected to generate $283 million to $423 million annually. Half that would go to public schools, 30 percent would go to higher education and 20 percent for tobacco cessation programs.
Speaking Friday at a debate, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon says a tax increase is not the proper way to fund higher education but that voters should get to decide on the tobacco measure. Republican challenger Dave Spence says he does not support any tax increases right now.