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California tobacco tax trails by razor-thin margin

Posted: June 19, 2012 12:29 p.m.
Updated: June 19, 2012 12:29 p.m.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Two weeks after the California primary, a closely-watched effort to impose a new tax on tobacco in the nation's most populous state remains too close to call.

The secretary of state reports that with 400,000 ballots outstanding, the measure that would add a $1-a-pack cigarette tax is trailing by 17,500 votes.

Since June 5, the measure known as Prop 29 has trailed in vote counts by less than a percentage point.

Through a barrage of campaign ads, tobacco companies were able to cut support for the plan from a two-thirds majority in March to a dead heat on Election Day.

Opponents of the measure raised $47 million to fight it, dramatically outspending supporters, who raised $12 million.

Election officials have until July 6 to report final results.



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