Circuit court judge hears tobacco tax
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Circuit court judge hears tobacco tax

Date: September 8, 2006
By: Kathryn Buschman
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: A Circuit Court judge said he would make a ruling on the proposed tobacco tax measure on Monday after hearing final legal arguments. Kathryn Buschman has more from the state Capitol.   

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Ten weeks before the November elections a Cole County judge said he would render a decision on Monday whether a proposed tobacco tax increase should appear on the November ballot.

The proposal would raise the state's cigarette tax to 97 cents a pack, an 80 cent increase.

In August the secretary of state rejected the ballot initiative because it did not gather the required number of signatures needed to be on the ballot. 

But the lawsuit challenges the rejection of more than 1,000 signatures. Chuck Hatfield, an attorney supporting the tax increase says, the law does not support the rejection of the signatures.

Actuality:  HAT2.WAV
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Description: Hatfield says he believes the judge should rule in favor of adding the signatures.


Attorneys opposing the tax increase say some of the signatures are invalid because the individuals were not properly registered to vote or there were discrepancies with their address. From Jefferson City, I am Kathryn Buschman. 

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Intro: A Cole County judge said he will make a decision Monday whether the proposed tobacco tax increase will end up on the November ballot. Kathryn Buschman has more from Jefferson City.

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  It was a game of numbers in the Cole County Court house Friday when attorneys for both sides argued how many signatures should be counted in support of the ballot initiative.  

In August the secretary of state rejected the petition because it fell 274 signatures short of the required number to be placed on the ballot. But Chuck Hatfield an attorney in support of the tax increase says some of the signatures were wrongly rejected.

Marc Ellinger, an attorney opposing the measure disagrees.      

Actuality:  ELLINGER.WAV
Run Time: 00:17
Description: Ellinger accuses the plaintiffs for cherry-picking their numbers.


 

 

 274.

The proposal would raise the state's cigarette tax to 97 cents a pack, an 80 cent increase. From Jefferson City I am Kathryn Buschman.