The state legislature is asking Missouri voters if they want to raise the state sales tax to support transportation.

The Senate changed the proposal from a 1-cent sales tax increase to a three-fourths-of-one-cent increase and sent it to the House 22-10. The House on Wednesday approved that 105-43, meaning it will go on the statewide ballot in November unless Governor Nixon sets a special election date for it.

If passed it would generate an estimated $534-million dollars annually, running for ten years beginning in 2015.

The proposal is HJR 68

The Missouri Department of Transportation has said it will soon not have the money for road and bridge maintenance. It has already quit adding new projects to its five-year construction program and suspended a cost-share program, in which the Department split the cost of a project with local governments in the area it would impact.

The Department’s Director, Dave Nichols, issued a statement praising passage of the proposed amendment.

Nichols writes, “Today is a great day for the future of transportation in Missouri. I would like to thank the General Assembly for passing this important legislation that gives Missourians the opportunity to improve our economy and keep our families safe by investing in much-needed transportation improvements.

“We are working with planning partners around the state and representatives from every mode of transportation to determine how this new revenue could best improve our total transportation system. We are ready to deliver the projects and services that Missourians expect and deserve.”