Cigarette Tax
All Initiatives   
Subject Matter:
Cigarette Tax  (See Comments)

Original Filing:
CIGARETTES IN MISSISSIPPI SHALL BE TAXED ADDITIONALLY AT 50 PERCENT OF THE NATIONAL CIGARETTE TAX AVERAGE AND EARMARKED FOR MEDICAID We, W.O. Luckett, Jr., aka Bill Luckett and/or Rory C. Reardon, propose creating a Mississippi Medicaid Cigarette Tax, to provide funding assistance for Medicaid in Mississippi. The Mississippi Medicaid Cigarette Tax would be levied, per pack, at 50 percent of the National Cigarette State-Tax Average rate and shall be added to, or in addition to, Mississippi's excise tax, general sales tax, and any other State, Federal, County, Municipal, and any other taxes on cigarettes. The National Cigarette State-Tax Average Rate shall be computed by the Commissioner of Revenue on December 31st of each year. The National Cigarette State-Tax Average Rate is the sum of all rates of excise tax on cigarettes levied by the various States computed on a per pack basis divided by the number of States levying such taxes. The average so determined shall be divided by two and then rounded to the next highest whole number to arrive at the appropriate tax rate. The tax so determined shall be levied and collected by the Commissioner of Revenue beginning on July 1st of each successive year. Any Funds generated by this Medicaid Cigarette Tax shall be collected by the Commissioner of Revenue and divided and distributed under the following guidelines. A) 2% of the funds shall be retained by the Commissioner of Revenue and used for administrative and compliance purposes. B) 98% of the funds shall be distributed to the Office of the Governor, Division of Medicaid, for further distribution as follows: i) 92% of the funds shall be directed to the Office of the Governor, Division of Medicaid, for distribution, exclusively, to healthcare providers licensed by the Mississippi State Board of Health. ii) 3% of the funds shall be directed to the Office of the Governor, Division of Medicaid for distribution exclusively to guard and combat any Medicaid fraud and/or abuse. iii) 1% of the funds shall be directed to the Office of the Governor, Division of Medicaid, for distribution, exclusively, for tobacco cessation programs. iv) 2% of the funds shall be used by the Office of the Governor, Division of Medicaid, for administrative or other purposes as necessary. Pursuant to Article 15 Section 273 (4) of the Mississippi Constitution, there is no amount of current revenue required to implement the initiative; this initiative would be self-funding. Specific details and other provisions necessary to implement and maintain the additional tax on cigarettes, known as the Mississippi Medicaid Cigarette Tax, and the intention of this law, shall be provided by the Legislature.

Proposed Ballot Title:
Should cigarettes be additionally taxed at fifty percent (50%) of the national cigarette tax average with proceeds earmarked for Medicaid?

Proposed Ballot Summary:
Initiative #25 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to require a new tax to be levied on cigarettes equal to fifty percent (50%) of the National Cigarette State- Tax Average rate which shall be in addition to all other applicable taxes on cigarettes. Ninety- eight percent (98%) of the proceeds of the new cigarette tax shall be distributed to the state Division of Medicaid and the remaining two percent (2%) used for administrative purposes.

Initiative Petition:
N/A

Sponsor:
W. O. Luckett, Jr. / Rory C. Reardon
Address:
143 Yazoo Avenue
Clarksdale MS 38614


Status:
Withdrawn at request of the initiators

Town Meeting Location:
N/A

Initiative Information:
The official ballot title and ballot summary for an initiative measure are prepared by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. Initiative measures are valid for one year. During this one-year period, a petition may be circulated to place the measure on the next statewide general election ballot to allow the voters of Mississippi to determine whether the measure should become a part of the Mississippi Constitution. According to Mississippi law, for an initiative measure to be placed on the ballot, a minimum of 107,216 certified signatures must be gathered, with at least 21,443 certified signatures from each of the five congressional districts as they existed in the year 2000. This required number of signatures represents twelve percent (12%) of the total number of votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial general election. Signatures must be certified by county circuit clerks as belonging to registered voters in Mississippi. A completed petition should be filed with Secretary of State, together with a filing fee of $500.00. For more information on the initiative process in Mississippi, consult the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, Section 273, and Mississippi Code Annotated §§ 23-17-1 through 23-17-61 (1972).

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