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Missouri tobacco tax increase could help fund healthcare

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – The Committee for a Healthy Future turned in petition signatures this weekend to put a tobacco sales tax increase proposal on the November ballot. The tax could provide funding for anti-smoking campaigns and help low-income Missourians access healthcare. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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With more than 150,000 petition signatures the Committee for a Healthy Future says it's confident the tobacco sales tax increase will make it on the ballot this fall. Robin Carnahan's office will now work on certifying the petition signatures before putting the proposal on the ballot.
The tax would be more than four times higher than the current 17 cent sales tax.
Anita Gilpin of the Committee for a Healthy Future says supporters across the state want to use the tax revenues to make the people of Missouri healthier.

Anita Gilpin: "It's clear that they want to improve the well being of all Missourians and keep our kids from smoking and improve access to healthcare."

The projected $351 million dollar a year from the tax would fund anti-smoking campaigns and provide subsidized health care for low-income Missourians.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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