MTPR

Montana Supreme Court Leaves Tax Initiative Ballot Language Alone

Aug 15, 2018

A unanimous Montana Supreme Court has rejected a tobacco industry-funded group's request to rewrite the ballot statement of a citizen's initiative to raise the state's tobacco taxes.

The opinion by Chief Justice Mike McGrath Wednesday says the statement written by the attorney general's office meets legal standards and will appear as is before voters in November.

Montanans Against Tax Hikes had asked the court to re-word the ballot statement over its claims the measure's phrasing is prejudicial, incorrect and will cause confusion among voters.

The attorney general's office said the changes the group asked for were minor and unnecessary.

If approved, the measure will raise taxes on cigarettes and snuff, and tax e-cigarettes and vaping products for the first time. The money will help pay for the state's Medicaid expansion and other health programs.