The politics of the proposed transportation sales tax increase are getting noisier.

On the day the Secretary of State certified the proposed three-quarters of a percent tax increase for the August ballot, Governor Nixon has put out a statement opposingi t. Nixon says the Republican legislture has been involved in what he calls a “relentless” effort to create new tax loopholes and exemptions that will benefit the well-off while putting a heavier tax burden on Missouri’s low income citizens. He says the transportation sales tax will aggravate problems for less-well-off Missourians.

The senate sponsor of the proposal, Mike Kehoe of Jefferson City, says it’s clear Nixon is out of touch. He says transportation problems won’t go away if enough people follow Nixon’s lead. ” I would like to continue to see signs up that say ‘completed as promised.’ Governor Nixon apparently wants a sign that says, ‘Sorry this is closed.'”

Kehoe says passage of the tax would have been tough regardless of the Governor’s announced opposition. He says it might be a while before the issue comes back if it fails in August–while roads keep deteriorating.