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Proposed cigarette tax increase begins collecting signatures

Proposed tax would go toward funding higher education

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced that a proposed measure increasing cigarette tax by $1 per pack may begin collecting signatures.

Supporters of the new proposal estimate the tax would generate over $800 million in revenue annually, most of which would go toward expanding financial aid for students enrolled at University of California and Cal State University schools.

The revenue not going toward education would be used to back-fill loses caused to existing tobacco funded programs. It is estimated that current tobacco prevention and education programs that are funded by cigarette taxes would lose $70 million annually due to the decrease in smoking the new tax would create.

The petition needs to collect 504,760 signatures by July 22 in order to qualify for the ballot.

Last year Proposition 29, a tobacco tax aimed at funding cancer research, lost by less than one percent of the vote.

Click here to view to official news release from Debra Bowen.

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