SACRAMENTO, California: Sponsors of a Tobacco Tax for Cancer Research Act submitted signatures on July 1 to qualify their measure for the California ballot. Since the deadline for the November 2, 2010 ballot has passed, the tobacco tax measure, if election officials say that enough valid signatures were submitted, will go on a statewide ballot in 2012.
Key supporter Don Perata said, "We're going to be in a big fight. In that sense, getting the signatures was really the easy part."
If the measure is approved by voters, it will impose these new taxes:
- A separate excise tax on every distributor of cigarettes at the rate of fifty mills for each cigarette sold.
- Every cigarette dealer or wholesaler will have to pay a floor stock tax for each cigarette in his or her possession at the rate of fifty mills for each cigarette.
The new taxes would generate about $855 million a year, at least until a decline in cigarette smoking anticipated by the proposition's supporters kicks in. That money would be divided as follows:
- 60 cents of every dollar would fund research on causes, prevention and treatment of cancer and other smoking-related illnesses.
- 20 cents would fund smoking cessation and tobacco use prevention programs.
- 15 cents would fund research facilities and equipment.
- 3 cents would fund anti-tobacco and anti-smuggling enforcement.
- 2 cents per dollar would be allocated for administrative costs.