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Big Tobacco Once Again Tries to Snuff Out Property Tax Cut

Location: Austin, TX

Big Tobacco Once Again Tries to Snuff Out Property Tax Cut

Philip Morris Begins Advertising Blitz Saturday to Kill Education Reform, Tax Relief

Tobacco giant Philip Morris begins hitting the airwaves Saturday with a massive advertising blitz that seeks to kill property tax relief and a record education funding increase in Texas.

"Big Tobacco would rather have more Texans addicted than educated," said spokesman Robert Black. "They are trying to snuff out a record property tax cut that will ease the tax burden for millions of homeowners drowning in rising property taxes."

"This misleading effort is a self-interested smokescreen driven by dollar signs and the number of addicts Big Tobacco stands to lose if the cost of smoking increases," said Black. "Legislators have a choice: they can either side with special interests like Big Tobacco and deliver nothing, or they can side with millions of Texans and deliver record property tax relief and a historic education funding increase."

Governor Perry has proposed raising the cigarette tax a dollar a pack, and raising rates on other tobacco products to 13 percent in order to help finance a $7 billion property tax cut. Both the House and Senate have approved measures to raise the cigarette tax a dollar a pack and increase taxes on other tobacco products to provide property tax relief.

"Now is the time for the quiet majority to make its voice heard so the special interests don't win and leave Texans holding a bagful of higher property taxes," Black said. "Legislators need to stand up to those special interests that are trying to bring down this special session."

The Philip Morris ad buy appears to be at least $200,000 for four days, beginning Saturday through Tuesday. The following is a list of known stations and the amount of advertising they have purchased for July 16-19 (list may not be complete):

Abilene KEAN $1,212.00
Abilene KWKC $1,260.00
Abilene KYYW-AM $348.00
Amarillo KMML $4,144.00
Amarillo KGNC-A $1,620.00 7/16-7/18
Amarillo KGNC-F $1,420.00 7/16-7/18
Beaumont KCOL $870.00
Beaumont KKMY $2,070.00
Beaumont KLVI $2,730.00
Beaumont KYKR $960.00
Corpus Christi KKTX $1,080.00
Corpus Christi KMSR $3,160.00
Corpus Christi KRYS $3,740.00
D/FW WBAP $26,000.00
Houston KODA $51,100.00
Lubbock KFMX $42,280.00
Lubbock KFYO $1,340.00
San Antonio KAJA $7,520.00
San Antonio WOAI $4,840.00
San Antonio KCYY $3,600.00 7/18 only
Tyler KDOK $2,100.00
Tyler KEES $720.00
Tyler KKUS $26,600.00
Tyler KNUE $2,430.00
Tyler KTBB $3,300.00
Wichita Falls KBZS $1,224.00
Wichita Falls KWFS $1,224.00
Total $198,892.00

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