Major highways, a robust rail system, plentiful river ports — Missouri’s transportation infrastructure is a critical asset to our economy and our work to attract business. Now, Missouri voters are one step closer to having an opportunity to ensure these assets remain safe, maintained and fully functional.
In just a few years, the Missouri Department of Transportation faces a major funding shortfall. By 2017, it’s estimated that the department’s funding will drop to $325 million. At that level, department leaders have warned that they won’t be able to even maintain the state’s existing infrastructure.
With this stark scenario as the backdrop, Missouri senators voted on April 29 to ask Missouri voters whether the state should add a temporary three-quarter-cent sales tax—down from a one-cent sales tax in earlier versions of the proposal—to support the state’s vital transportation needs. The measure is contained in House Joint Resolution 68, sponsored by Rep. Dave Hinson, a Republican from St. Clair. A similar resolution was filed in the Senate by Sen. Mike Kehoe, a Republican from Jefferson City. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports this measure.
“We thank the Missouri Senate for their vote. Because Missouri businesses rely on our state’s transportation system each day, our businesses are key stakeholders in this discussion,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “With the bill now passed the Senate, we urge the General Assembly to complete their work on this bill so we can begin the work of educating voters statewide about the need to support this measure.”