North Dakota Veterans Fight for Support on Measure 4

November’s ballot includes a measure that could potentially increase a pack of cigarettes by $1.76.

Veterans are saying the opposition isn’t playing fair.

Voting “Yes” on Measure 4 means you support higher taxes on tobacco products.

Half the money goes to support veterans services.

“The veterans up here today represent the 31,000 North Dakota Veterans,” said David Johnson, who is adjutant for the American Legion in the state. “Who do you think is really looking out for our vets in our state?”

Veterans say tobacco and oil companies are spending big money on misleading advertisements.

“They say no 400% tax increase. I didn’t see the word tobacco in there,” said Johnson.

He says the opposition doesn’t see the benefits because they aren’t local.

“The opposition is funded by out of state tobacco companies to the tune of $3.7 million as of today.”

The “Vote No on 4 North Dakota” website states that people won’t know what the tax money will really be spent on.

The North Dakota Veterans have created a strategic plan that they say lays out how they would use their funding.

Plans including behavior and mental health programs as well as housing.

“Fifty percent of the new tax revenues is dedicated to a new Veterans Tobacco trust fund and must be used in programs and services to veterans or their eligible dependents,” explained Johnson.

The “Vote No on 4 North Dakota” group says they want to help veterans but if the tax is going to be funding state programs, they want it clear what specific programs will benefit.

KVRR did reach out to “Vote No on 4 North Dakota” but did not answer a request for an interview at this time.

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