The Missouri House Transportation Committee chairman supports a gasoline tax increase.
State Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, serves on Missouri’s 21st Century Transportation System task force. The task force held its first meeting Wednesday at the Statehouse in Jefferson City.
Reiboldt tells Missourinet a gas tax increase “must be on the table”.
“I’m in the ten cent I think is a reasonable, I think some people want more, some perhaps a little less,” Reiboldt says. “But I think ten cents, that would be about half of what MoDOT’s asking for.”
Missouri’s fuel tax hasn’t been increased in 21 years. The last increase was part of a bipartisan 1992 six-cent gas tax increase backed by then-Governor John Ashcroft (R) and then-House Speaker Bob Griffin, D-Cameron.
Missouri also ranks 47th in the nation in revenue per mile.
State Rep. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, also serves on the task force.
“I want to keep an open mind on what the funding solution is, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’ve got to raise new revenue in the state of Missouri,” says Razer.
State Sen. Bill Eigel, R-St. Charles, tells committee members Missouri has a $27 billion operating budget and that his constituents are paying enough in taxes. Eigel says “we are paying more for government now than ever.”
Representative Razer, who grew up in the Bootheel and graduated from Cooter High School, says Democrats and Republicans can and must work together on transportation.
“We also need to work between urban and rural communities throughout the state,” Razer says. “We’re all in this together. It doesn’t matter what letter you have behind your name or what part of the state you live in, whether it’s Jackson County or Newton County, we want everyone to have good roads and bridges and help everyone in our state.”
Razer notes Missouri has the seventh-largest state highway system, with 33,884 miles of roadway. That’s partially because MoDOT has had jurisdiction over the letter routes since the 1950s.
Razer tells Missourinet those rural residents have a right to good roads.
The 21st Century Transportation System task force, which is chaired by State Rep. Kevin Corlew, R-Kansas City, will meet monthly and will submit a report and recommendations to the General Assembly by January 1.
Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Director Patrick McKenna delivered a presentation at Wednesday’s meeting.
McKenna says MoDOT has 1,303 “weight-restricted bridges”, along with 866 “poor” bridges.
Chairman Corlew says Missouri ranks sixth nationally in number of bridges, with 10,394.
MoDOT’s current budget is about $2.3 billion.
Click here to listen to Missourinet news director Brian Hauswirth’s full seven-minute interview with State Reps. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, and Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, which was recorded on June 28, 2017 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City: