Oregon Increased Cigarette Tax for State Health Plan, Measure 20 (2002)

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The Oregon Increased Cigarette Tax for State Health Plan Act, also known as Measure 19, was on the September 17, 2002 ballot in Oregon as a legislatively-referred state statute, where it was approved. The measure increased the cigarette tax to 60 cents per 20 cigarettes and allocated revenues from such tax to the Oregon Health Plan.[1]

Election results

Oregon Measure 20 (2002)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 522,613 64.38%
No289,11935.62%

Election results via: Oregon Blue Book

Ballot title

Increases Cigarette Tax; Uses Revenue for Health Plan, Other Programs[2]

Support

[3] Many in support of the measure argue that the higher tax on cigarettes would not only help fund and strengthen The Oregon Health plan, but it will reduce use of tobacco and prevent people from becoming smokers due to the higher prices. Supporters believed the measure would help get rid of the "state budget crisis."

Some of the organizations that supported the measure are:

  • American Cancer Society
  • American Lung Association of Oregon
  • American Heart Association
  • Oregon Business Association
  • Oregon Nurses Association
  • Oregon Medical Association
  • Children First for Oregon

Opposition

[4] Some who oppose the measure label it as a "mean-spirited" tax that targets only a small percentage of Oregonians (smokers) to fund government services that benefit all Oregonians. Many believed the passage of the measure would only give government permission for more out of control spending of tax dollars and that raising taxes during a recession is never the right thing to do. Some were concerned about how the tax would affect the convenience story industry and believed the measure may force some to close.

Some of those who opposed the measure are:

  • National Federation of Independent Business
  • Citizens for a Sound Economy PAC
  • Oregon Neighborhood Store Association
  • Taxpayer Association of Oregon

See also

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