Supporters of a special sales tax for transportation will be hitting the streets after the holidays asking voters to put the issue on next November’s ballot.
Funding for roads and bridges is half what it was five years ago. The transportation department thinks it will be about one-third of that figure within six years…and think that, within four years, the state won’t have enough matching funds to draw federal highway aid dollars.
A transportation sales tax proposal died in the last hours of the 2013 legislative session when three Senators, Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph, John Lamping of St. Louis, and Ed Emery of Lamar, refused to let it come to a floor vote.
Backers say the sales tax could provide as much as $650-800 million dollars a year for ten years for the state transportation system. Campaign co-chairman Bill McKenna says, “I think of all of the things that are on the ballots over the past years, a lot of times people don’t really connect with them. But I think the issue of transportation is something that impacts every Missourian.”
The proposal would freeze fuel taxes at their present levels. And it would forbid the legislature from creating toll roads.
Signatures have to be submitted to the Secretary of State by the close of business May 4th.