Supreme Court Sets October 3 Hearing on Tobacco Tax

SEPTEMBER 18, 2006 - Posted at 3:40 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The state Supreme Court will decide whether Missourians get to vote on a tobacco tax increase this November.

The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments October 3 for an appeal on the case.

Election authorities initially determined that the tobacco tax measure had failed to get enough valid petition signatures from registered voters.

But Cole County Circuit Judge Thomas Brown that decision last week and ordered the tax increase to go on the November 7 ballot.

The measure would raise Missouri's cigarette tax to 97 cents a pack, instead of the current 17 cents.  Taxes on other tobacco products would triple.

The money would be used for health care and anti-tobacco programs.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)