by Mike Ferguson
(St. Charles, MO) – It’s been tried before (three times) but supporters hope this time it doesn’t go up in smoke.
Brian Schmidt from the campaign, which is an effort by the Alliance for Childhood Education, says the state would collect the additional 50 cents per pack of cigarettes in taxes and then distribute the money to counties. From there, Schmidt says, local governments can decide how best to spend the money – as long as it’s for education and/health for children up to five years old.
Missouri currently has the nation’s lowest state tax on cigarettes.
While Bearden agrees that most everyone wants better education and health services for children, he argues that another tax increase is not going to accomplish that. During this week’s “Missouri Viewpoints”, Bearden says the tax would actually do more harm than good in some instances because the tax would hit poor Missourians harder than others because, he contends, the poor are more likely to smoke and not likely to quit even when the cost goes up
What do you think? Tell us on the “Missouri Viewpoints” Facebook page.
The “Raise Your Hand For Kids” campaign hopes to put the idea on the statewide ballot in 2016.
On the web:
“Raise Your Hand For Kids” campaign: http://www.raiseyourhandforkids.org/
United For Missouri: www.UnitedForMissouri.org