KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A measure that would have increased Missouri's lowest-in-the nation tobacco tax by 73 cents per pack failed Tuesday.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Proposition B had just 49 percent “Yes” votes with 51 percent voting no.
Supporters said increasing the tax would help curb smoking among young people and provide a much-needed funding boost for education. The state auditor's office estimates the initiative would have generated between $283 million and $423 million annually.
Opponents say the state's low tax encourages smokers from neighboring states to buy their cigarettes in Missouri, and passage would result in the loss of more than $67 million in sales tax revenue.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Missouri welfare recipients would be barred from spending their cash benefits at casinos, liquor stores or strip clubs under legislation sent to Gov. Jay Nixon.