Columbia Cigarettes Tax Hike, School Smoking Rates

Columbia’s school board has come out in favor of a state ballot ordinance that would increase the state’s cigarettes tax and possibly bring money to public schools. Proposition B is a proposed tobacco tax on November’s ballot. It would increase taxes on cigs bought in Missouri, which is currently ranked 11th in smoking rates and has the lowest cigarettes tax of any state. The proposed new tax would move Missouri to 36th place in nation-wide cigarettes tax and some of the money collected would be used for to fund public schools.

Columbia School Board member Jonathan Sessions said that the money will be appreciated but he is more concerned in the influence on smoking rates.

“Evidence showed that this price hike could be a barrier to youth beginning smoking tobacco products at such an early age, and that’s my primary reason for being in support of Proposition B,” Sessions declared.

The school board approved the motion to officially be in favor of the bill by a vote of 7-1. School Board President Tom Rose dissented, argued that he felt there wasn’t enough opportunity for public comment on the issue