Cole County judge upholds wording of state tobacco tax ballot

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 | 7:43 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri judge has upheld the ballot language of a proposal asking voters to raise the state's tobacco taxes.

Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green ruled this week that the ballot measure's summary and cost estimate are fair and sufficient.

The initiative would raise Missouri's tax on cigarettes to 90 cents per pack from the current 17 cents, which is the lowest in the nation. State taxes on other tobacco products also would be increased.

Groups backing the proposal, including the American Cancer Society, submitted signatures to the secretary of state earlier this month to get the question on the November ballot.

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