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Five Initiative Petitions Approved for Circulation for 2012 Ballot

JEFFERSON CITY – Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has an­nounced that five initiative petitions met state standards for circulation.

The ballot title for one petition relating to cigarette and other tobacco product taxation reads:

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

• create the Health and Education Trust Fund with proceeds of a tax of $0.0365 per cigarette and 25% of the manufacturer’s invoice price for roll-your-own tobacco and 15% for other tobacco products;

• use Fund proceeds to reduce and prevent tobacco use and for elementary, secondary, college, and university public school funding; and

• increase the amount that certain tobacco product manufacturers must maintain in their escrow accounts, to pay judgments or settlements, before any funds in escrow can be refunded to the tobacco product manufacturer and create bonding requirements for these manufacturers?

Estimated additional revenue to state government from this proposal is $283 million to $423 million annually with limited estimated im­plementation costs or savings. The revenue will fund only programs and services allowed by the pro­posal. The fiscal impact to local governmental entities is unknown.

The petition, which seeks to amend Chapters 149 and 196 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, was submitted by Mr. Robert L. Hess II, Husch Blackwell, LLP, 235 E. High St., PO Box 1251, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1251.

Four petitions relating to local taxes on cigarettes or tobacco prod­ucts were certified, and the ballot title for the first version reads:

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

• allow voters in cities and coun­ties to set and control local taxes on cigarettes or tobacco products within their city or county; and

• use the proceeds of such taxes for local job creation, health care, public education, reduction and pre­vention of tobacco use, or other uses specifically approved by local vot­ers?

This proposal has no fiscal im­pact (change in costs, savings, or revenues) for state and local governmental entities as it will only enact enabling legislation allowing the establishment of local tobacco taxes that may or may not be sub­mitted to and approved by voters.

The ballot title for the second version reads:

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

• allow voters in cities and coun­ties to set and control local taxes on cigarettes or tobacco products within their city or county;

• use the proceeds of such taxes for local job creation, health care, public education, reduction and pre­vention of tobacco use, or other uses specifically approved by local voters; and

•   increase the amount that cer­tain tobacco product manufacturers must maintain in their escrow accounts, to pay judgments or set­tlements, before any funds in escrow can be refunded to the tobacco product manufacturer?

The proposal has no direct fiscal impact (change in costs, savings, or revenues) for state and local gov­ernmental entities since it enacts enabling legislation allowing the establishment of local tobacco taxes only if submitted to and approved by voters. Escrow fund changes may result in an unknown increase in future state revenue.

The ballot title for the third ver­sion reads:

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

• allow voters in cities and coun­ties to set and control local taxes on cigarettes or tobacco products within their city or county; and

• use the proceeds of such taxes for local job creation, health care, public education, reduction and pre­vention of tobacco use, or other uses specifically approved by local voters?

This proposal has no fiscal im­pact (change in costs, savings, or revenues) for state and local gov­ernmental entities as it will only enact enabling legislation allowing the establishment of local tobacco taxes that may or may not be sub­mitted to and approved by voters.

The ballot title for the fourth ver­sion reads:

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

• allow voters in cities and coun­ties to set and control local taxes on cigarettes or tobacco products within their city or county;

• use the proceeds of such taxes for local job creation, health care, public education, reduction and pre­vention of tobacco use, or other uses specifically approved by local voters; and

• increase the amount that certain tobacco product manufacturers must maintain in their escrow accounts, to pay judgments or settlements, before any funds in escrow can be refunded to the tobacco product manufac­turer?

The proposal has no direct fiscal impact (change in costs, savings, or revenues) for state and local gov­ernmental entities since it enacts enabling legislation allowing the establishment of local tobacco taxes only if submitted to and approved by voters. Escrow fund changes may result in an unknown increase in future state revenue.

The four petitions, which seek to amend Chapters 149 and 196 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, were submitted by Mr. Mark Reading, 2604 Lakeland Dr., Jefferson City, MO 65109.

Before any statutory change can be brought before voters, signatures must be obtained from registered voters equal to five (5) percent of the total votes cast in the 2008 gov­ernor’s election from six of the state’s nine congressional districts.

Signatures on behalf of all initia­tive petitions for the 2012 ballot are due to the Secretary of State’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on May 6, 2012.

Before circulating petitions, state law requires that groups must first have the form of their petition ap­proved by the Secretary of State and Attorney General. The Secretary of State then prepares a summary statement of no more than 100 words and the State Auditor pre­pares a fiscal impact statement, both of which are subject to the approval of the Attorney General. When both statements are approved, they be­come the official ballot title.

 

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