Two pieces of legislation that would provide critical funding for Missouri’s transportation system moved another step further in the legislative process. The Missouri Senate Transportation Committee held a public hearing on Senate Joint Resolution 48, sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City), and House Joint Resolution 68, sponsored by Rep. Dave Hinson (R-St. Clair). Both bills propose a one cent sales tax to raise revenue for the Missouri Department of Transportation and, if passed, would be put on the November ballot for a vote of the people.
The Missouri Chamber strongly supports both bills.
The key facts about these resolutions include:
- The resolutions would create a ten-year, one cent sales tax on all items except medicine, groceries, and gasoline. If the tax is not renewed in ten years, it will automatically expire.
- The proposal will raise about $790 million per year.
- MoDOT will create a list of projects they will build with the funding, and provide an annual report of projects.
- The proposal will require approval by the General Assembly, then go to a popular vote.
- The proposal will include a constitutional amendment, and the money raised will be earmarked solely for transportation.
“If Missouri is to remain competitive, we have to make moves to invest in our transportation infrastructure,” said Jay Atkins, general counsel for the Missouri Chamber. “It is the very foundation of commerce and economic growth. We can’t drive our economy into the future with crumbling roads beneath our wheels.”
“We have a transportation funding problem right now,” Rep. Hinson testified. “Especially in rural areas we need to widen the shoulders and make the roads safer. The fuel tax is declining and not where it should be. If we were to raise the fuel tax it would be around 25 cents per gallon, and I don’t think the voters want that. We need to find a way to fund these projects to make our roadways safe, and this proposal could do that.”
For more information on transportation issues contact Jay Atkins, Missouri Chamber general counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 573-634-3511.