Missouri Cigarette Tax Discussed

  JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt
Schaefer says he supports increasing Missouri's cigarette tax.

     The Columbia Republican says he backs a higher tax on cigarettes
to get more Missourians to stop smoking. Schaefer says reducing the
number of smokers would help state government save money by cutting
some costs through the Medicaid health care program. He says a
higher tax also would generate a little additional revenue.

     Missouri's cigarette tax of 17 cents per pack has remained
unchanged while most states have increased taxes on tobacco over
the past decade. Nationwide, the average tax now is $1.46 per pack.

     Schaefer was asked about Missouri's cigarette tax on Thursday by
members of The Associated Press and the Missouri Press Association
during their annual Capitol media event.

© Associated Press

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