State Transportation Director Pete Rahn warns that highway construction will come to an end and some road maintenance work will go unmet if Missourians don’t approve higher taxes for transportation. He just won’t endorse any particular tax.
Rahn says Missouri will soon need more transportation money. How that comes about doesn’t really matter to him.
“I support any revenue source that 51% of Missourians can agree upon,” Rahn says.
No new money will flow to MoDOT unless Missouri voters approve it. Rahn says it appears voters are warming to the idea.
“For the first time, the polling has shown that a majority of Missourians now agree that there needs to be more money put into transportation,” according to Rahn. “The next step is there is no agreement by that majority as to how we raise those funds.”
Rahn says MoDOT’s job is to use the money it has efficiently and let Missourians know that a $1.5 billion transportation budget will drop to $420 million once federal funds and Amendment Three money run out.
Does the recession postpone any decision on a transportation tax increase?
Rahn turns the question around, “Does it postpone it or is investing in transportation a good way to create jobs?”
Rahn says it will be largely up to the Missouri Transportation Alliance to decide what type of tax increase might pass at the ballot box and to campaign for it.
Brent Martin reports (1:15 MP3).