SACRAMENTO (AP) — Proponents of a $2 cigarette tax increase have been cleared to begin gathering signatures to take the question to California voters in 2016.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla approved two ballot initiatives Friday for signatures.READ MORE: Trio Of 55-Gallon Drums Found Leaking Motor Oil In Redlands Citrus Grove
The per-pack tax would net an estimated $1.1 billion in its first year, with revenues slightly decreasing each year after. It would go to pay for health care programs and services.
The effort is backed by the California Medical Association, the American Lung Association and the Service Employees International Union.READ MORE: LA Facing $550M Revenue Shortfall On Sharp Declines In Transient, Parking Occupancy Taxes
Voters have rejected two other proposals to tax cigarettes in the last decade, and the latest tax plan faces opposition from tobacco companies that scored legislative victories this week.
California’s current tobacco per-pack tax is 15th lowest in the nation at 87 cents.MORE NEWS: Irv Cross, Former Rams Player And Broadcast Pioneer, Dies At 81
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