Powell applauds the Supreme Court decision declaring the cigarette tax unconstitutional
Powell applauds Supreme Court decision
Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Chris Powell hailed the decision of the state Supreme Court to declare the $1.50 cigarette tax increase did not originate in the state House and passed with less than a three-fourths majority in the final five days of the legislative session to be a revenue raising measure and therefore unconstitutional. “If this had been upheld it would have entirely gutted the meaning of SQ 640,” said Powell. SQ 640 was the state question that was approved in by a vote of the people in 1992 requiring tax increases to be passed with approval of three-fourths of the Legislature before the final five days of the session.
The state has one week to ask for a rehearing, but none of the Court’s nine justices fully dissented from the decision. Powell said “This almost certainly means a special session for this dysfunctional Legislature to try again. I have no expectation that there will be any improvement in the ineffective leadership from the Governor’s office.” He went on to say that the decision is evidence that “Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and State Auditor Gary Jones should not have voted to certify this budget. They should have joined State Treasurer Ken Miller in voting no. Unconstitutional revenue doesn’t require rubber stamp approval.”