The Senate is one vote away from sending to the House a bill to raise Missouri’s gas tax. The proposal would increase the tax on diesel fuel 3.5-cent per gallon and 1.5-cent per gallon on all other fuels. The revenue would help pay for maintenance of Missouri’s roads and bridges. The bill would also create a board to explore the possibility of tolling I-70.
Senator Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph) said he opposes the measure and is offering a compromise by letting the issue go to a vote of the people. Senator Dave Schatz (R-St. Louis) says that’s not a compromise.
“If we bring this amendment to a vote and it fails, then what? Are you going to sit down and let the body vote on this issue,” asks Schatz. “What are you afraid of allowing the body to vote on this issue?”
Schaaf withdrew his amendment, so the proposal would not allow for a public vote on the increase.
“When we the Legislature raise taxes, we are directly taking money out of the pocket books of our constituents,” said Schaaf. “There are certain times when we are contemplating either directly taking liberty away from our constituents or directly taking money out of their pockets.”
Missouri’s current gas tax is 17 cents per gallon. If the bill passes in the Senate, the House would still have to take up the issue.