By NICK SMITH, Bismarck Tribune
Members of a coalition seeking an increase in the state’s tobacco tax say their proposed increase would reduce smoking rates as well as state health care costs among other benefits.
Being a statutory initiative, 13,452 legitimate signatures will be required at least 120 days before the election. The deadline for turning in signatures for the Nov. 8 election is July 11.
Several unsuccessful attempts have been legislatively in the year since the last tax increase.
By: Natalie Parsons
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) It has been proposed in the state of North Dakota to raise the tax on tobacco products.
If it passes, you will see it on your ballot this November.
Supporters already started collecting some of the required 13,000 plus signatures.
North Dakota has not increased its tobacco tax since 1993 and now the Raise It For Health North Dakota coalition thinks it’s time.
The proposed tobacco tax will increase the tax on cigarettes from $0.44 per pack up to $2.20 per pack.
Scott Platfers says, “Going to have to pay more if I want to continue but I’m hoping that it might deter me too because it’s something I’ve been wanting to quit for a long time.”
The ultimate goal for this tobacco tax increase is to hopefully decrease youth smoking by 20 percent and prevent 5800 youth from ever starting.
The Fargo smoker says, “It’s not going to prevent all of them but I think it’s going to get some of them and every little bit helps.”
The coalition has already started getting signatures on this initiated measure.
The petition needs exactly 13,452 signatures in order appear on the November 8th ballot.
Platfers says, “It’s a double edged sword. It’ll effect me but as long as it would help somebody? Yeah, I would sign it.”
The proposed tobacco tax is estimated to bring in over $100-million new revenue to North Dakota with plans to go towards many health care services.
NICK SMITH, Bismarck Tribune