South Dakota’s IM 25 Defeated

South Dakota voters rejected Initiated Measure 25, a $35 million tax increase. Initiated Measure 25 would have increased the excise tax on cigarettes from $76.5 million to $126.5 million, or about $1.53 per pack of 20 cigarettes to $2.53 per pack of 20 cigarettes. The measure would have also increased the excise tax on wholesale tobacco products from 35% to 55% of the purchase price.

Earlier this year, the South Dakota Legislature rejected a similar proposal (H.B. 1274), voting overwhelmingly to defeat it in committee.

Montana’s I-185 Defeated

Montana voters rejected Initiative 185 (I-185), a $74 million tobacco tax increase that would have permanently expanded Medicaid.

When Montana lawmakers passed Medicaid expansion in 2015, they included a sunset provision in the law to make sure they could evaluate the program’s effectiveness and control costs and spending. But I-185 would have locked the massive government program in place, bypassing the Legislature and making permanent a program that was designed to be re-evaluated. By eliminating the sunset and making the program permanent, taxpayers would be obligated to spend tens of millions of dollars more without the oversight promised when this program was first created.