SACRAMENTO - When brought before the people Tuesday, California rejected a proposed $1 per pack cigarette tax. In contrast, Illinois' legislature hiked their state's smokes tax by $1 last week, bringing the per pack taxes up to $1.89.
(Reuters) - California voters narrowly rejected a ballot measure that would have added a $1 tax to a pack of cigarettes in the state's primary election Tuesday, an outcome observers attributed to a $47 million ad blitz by the tobacco industry.
The measure, known as Proposition 29, was defeated 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent on a day of light voter turnout, according to election results posted on Wednesday by California's secretary of state. Some absentee and other ballots remained to be counted.
The result reflected a long-standing political divide in California, with San Francisco Bay area counties heavily supporting the measure, while conservative suburban counties in more populous Southern California overwhelmingly opposed it.