Supreme Court denies appeal over tobacco tax initiative

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has turned down appeals of a ruling changing the ballot summary for a tobacco tax initiative.
The court Thursday denied an appeal made by the sponsors of the initiative. On Wednesday, it denied a similar request made on behalf of Secretary of State Jason Kander, whose office wrote the original ballot summary.
The proposal seeks to gradually add 60 cents to Missouri’s 17-cent-a-pack cigarette tax. It also would impose a 67-cent-a-pack fee on smaller tobacco companies that didn’t participate in a 1998 settlement between big tobacco companies and states.
An appeals court panel ruled last week that the ballot summary should have noted the 67-cent fee will rise annually.
It’s unclear whether the wording change will end up forcing the measure off the ballot.