SIKESTON -- When registered Missouri voters head to the polls next week, they will give their final say on whether or not to increase cigarette sales tax.
Proposition B, if approved on Nov. 6, would raise Missouri's cigarette tax to 90 cents from its current 17 cents -- the lowest in the United States. The national average is $1.46.
The move is expected to generate around $283 million, according to the state auditor's projections. Of that, 50 percent would go to public school districts, 30 percent would go to higher education and 20 percent would pay for efforts to keep people from starting to use tobacco or help current users quit.
"The key focus and the reason why we put forward this initiative is to help local public schools. Every local district will benefit, and every district decides how they want to spend the money," said Misty Snodgrass, government relations director for the American Cancer Society and spokesperson for Show-Me A Brighter Future.
Show-Me A Brighter Future, a coalition of Missouri organizations and individuals led by the American Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and other educational and health organizations, is leading the initiative.
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