Election day – just over three weeks away.
North Dakota voters will have to decide on much more than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in less than a month. They’ll have to choose to approve a pricey tobacco tax increase.
North Dakota hasn’t seen a tobaccos tax increase in 10 years.
Come November 8, you’ll see the initiated statutory measure four on the ballot.
If passed, the measure will raise tobacco taxes from forty four cents to two dollars and twenty cents.
NORTH DAKOTA VETERANS WANT VOTERS TO KNOW THE MONEY WILL BE PUT TO GOOD USE.
“It would access money that we currently don’t have because every time the COVA or the veterans association go to the legislature and ask for money, the answer is always no,” says local veteran Gary Himmerich.
“You hear that they don’t have any plan for this money, but they do. The COVA.. is made up of 15 people and they’re going to take one person from each organization and set up a strategic plan. and this is how the money will be on the veteran’s portion,” says Bismarck veteran Gary Maddock.
FIFTY PERCENT OF THE TAX REVENUE WILL GO TOWARDS VETERANS SERVICES.. THE REMAINING FIFTY PERCENT WILL BE USED TO FUND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH.. PUBLIC HEALTH.. AND CHRONIC DISEASE SERVICES.
NORTH DAKOTA HAS ONE OF THE NATION’S LOWEST TOBACCO TAXES.. MUCH LOWER THAN SURROUNDING STATES.
“RJ Reynolds.. and I don’t care who hears this. They are pumping the money into this,” says Himmerich.
RJ REYNOLDS IS A LARGE TOBACCO COMPANY THAT DONATED NEARLY 195 THOUSAND DOLLARS AGAINST THE MEASURE.
THE OPPOSING GROUP HAS RECEIVED OVER 860 THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM BIG TOBACCO COMPANIES.
And the reason they’ve done that is because they know this measure works to decrease youth smoking rates. It’s actually proven to be the most effective method,” says
Only three states have a tobacco tax that is lower than North Dakota’s. Tobacco users would be paying $1.76 higher if the measure passes.
Voters will have to vote on four other measures including Marsy’s Law and medical marijuana.