Missouri Tobacco Tax Initiative, Proposition B (2012)

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Proposition B
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Type:initiated state statute
Referred by:Warren Erdman
The Missouri Tobacco Tax Initiative, Proposition B, was on the November 6, 2012 ballot in the state of Missouri as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated.

The measure would have created the Health and Education Trust Fund with by using the revenue generated from 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.

More provisions of the measure can be found here.

Election results

See also: 2012 ballot measure election results

The following are official election results:

Missouri Proposition B
Defeatedd No1,362,00550.8%
Yes 1,321,586 49.2%

Results via Missouri Secretary of State

Text of the measure

The ballot title for the petition reads:[1]

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 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.



No formal campaign in opposition of the measure was identified by Ballotpedia.


2012 measure lawsuits
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Signature challenges
Initiative process

Legal challenges lead to bigger implications surrounding the state initiative process. On February 28, Cole County Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetum struck down a law that directs the state auditor to prepare fiscal analysis for proposed ballot initiatives.[2]

According to reports, Beetem stated that the law was in violation of the Missouri Constitution. Specifically, the ruling stated that the 1997 statute conflicts with a constitutional provision that prohibits laws mandating the state auditor to perform duties unrelated to overseeing the spending and receiving of public money.

What was originally a challenge to the tobacco tax initiative grew into a statewide confusion of the initiative process. Events in the state took another twist leading up to the week of April 23, 2012 when Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich told his staff via e-mail to cease preparation of financial estimates of initiatives, directly because of the court ruling.

Ballot initiatives needed official financial summary included with submitted petition signatures.

Then, on July 31, after multiple appeals, a Missouri Supreme Court ruling stated that the Missouri Secretary of State had correctly written the language of the proposal. Also included in that ruling, was that the state auditor has the constitutional right to prepare the financial summaries of the measures.

Path to the ballot

See also: Missouri signature requirements

To qualify for the ballot, the initiative required signatures from registered voters equal to 5% 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 were due to the secretary of state’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on May 6, 2012. The initiative submitted the required amount of signatures and was placed on the ballot.

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