The chairman of the House Transportation committee says he’ll pre-file a bill for the 2016 legislative session that would increase the gasoline tax by two cents. Representative Glen Kolkmeyer said if Missouri doesn’t provide more of its own transportation dollars, it could lose federal matching funds.
“It’s a four to one match, so we definitely need to secure those funds that we are not leaving that money on the table,” said Kolkmeyer. “A couple years down the road, we are going to fall short of matching our federal funds. That comes to we put up one dollar and the feds put up four dollars.”
Kolkmeyer said he and the committee are open to other funding ideas, but anything over a two-cent fuel increase would require a public vote. He said he favors a gas tax increase instead of tolls roads and many of his constituents are voicing their opinions.
“They’re not very much in favor of tolls roads. I-70 runs right through the middle of my district and I have one of the largest sections of I-70 in my district. However, I think at this point we need to look at all options,” said Kolkmeyer.
The Legislature couldn’t agree on a transportation funding bill this year, though most lawmakers believe it must be increased. Missouri’s fuel tax is 17 cents per gallon, which is one of the lowest in the country.
Lawmakers can begin filing bills December 1.
Kyle Hill of KRES contributed to this story.