Kander deciding what to do on tobacco tax after court ruling

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander isn’t saying yet how he will handle a ballot proposal seeking to raise the cigarette tax in light of recent court rulings.

The state Supreme Court recently turned down an appeal of a ruling ordering a change to the ballot summary for the measure that would phase in a 60-cent increase to the state’s 17-cent-a-pack cigarette tax.

The ruling said the summary prepared by Kander’s office should have noted that a separate, new 67-cent-a-pack fee on some cigarette brands will rise annually.

Opponents contend the petitions for the ballot initiative should be invalidated because they were gathered under the old summary.

A Kander spokeswoman said Friday that the office is still reviewing the effect of the court ruling and has no comment.