by Taylor Beck
Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue, pre-filed a bill calling for an overhaul of certain state taxes.
Lamping’s bill would increase the cigarette tax, lower the income rate to a flat 4 percent rate, and increase the state’s sales and use tax.
Lamping said he expects the language of the bill to change greatly through the 2013 legislative session and that the cigarette tax portion is not his main focus.
“The bill is about raising revenue, cutting taxes to a greater degree, and dedicating revenue to infrastructure. I just chose to put the cigarette tax bill inside this bill and if it comes out of the bill it comes out of the bill, it’s not a priority,” Lamping said.
In the November election, voters shot down a proposal to raise Missouri’s cigarette tax by 73 cents to 90 cents per pack. The defeat was the third time in a decade Missourians have rejected a cigarette tax increase.
Ron Leone, executive director of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, led the opposition to the cigarette tax increase in November. He said this proposal is still too high.
Leone did add that there were certain provisions to this bill that were more agreeable than those in the failed Proposition B.
“While we want to be cautiously optimistic, at this point in time we’re going to have to oppose due to the sheer size of it,” Leone said.