KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Show-Me showdown is brewing as the November general election draws near. Twice in the last decade, a cigarette sales tax increase has been put to a vote, twice it’s failed.
Proponents hope the third time will be the charm. But those who make a living selling cigarettes hope the prop goes up in smoke.
Sharon DiBuono is an employee of Discount Smokes near 79th and State Line in Kansas City, MO. Her stance on the proposed sales tax increase is clear.
“I am not for it at all, it’s gonna hurt a lot of the smaller businesses if it goes through,” said DiBuono.
Discount Smokes caters to smokers on both sides of the state line, but DiBuono says most come from the Kansas side.
Missouri has long had the nation’s lowest tax rate on cigarettes – but if Prop B passes on November 6th, DiBuono feels the impact could do more than curb smoking.
“We’re going to be more expensive, the kansans will probably stay there,” said DiBuono, who isn’t shy about letting her customers know what could happen and she’s constantly asking them to vote “No”.
Those in favor of Prop B are using a website, showmeabrighterfuture.com, to push for “Yes” votes.
It says 20 percent of the millions raised will be used to help people quit, and keep kids from ever starting tobacco.
The remaining 80 percent will go to education and help offset budgets from elementary schools to college campuses, supporters say.