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Prop 29: Support For Cigarette Tax Increase Slightly Trailing

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Photo: Ferran/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Proposition 29, which sought to impose an additional tax cigarettes for cancer research, is now failing by a slim margin. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, 50.8 percent (1,958,047 voters) opposed the proposition while 49.2 percent (1,894,871) supported it.

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However, proponents of the initiative say there are an estimated 200,000 votes that need to be counted. While all precincts are reporting, provisional ballots and mail-in ballots submitted on Election Day have not yet been counted.

Proposition 29 would raise an roughly $810 million a year for cancer research through adding and additional one dollar tax on a pack of cigarettes. That would put the tax on a pack of cigarettes at $1.87.

Those who oppose the legislation say the state has already mismanaged cigarette tax funds from and the initiative has no accountability to taxpayers.

Low-income residents in California are likely to be hit hardest if the cigarette tax hike passes. One out of five people whose household income is less than $20,000 also smokes, according to the California Budget Project.

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