The Missouri House Transportation Committee Chairman believes a gas tax and a diesel tax increase must be part of the answer to funding the state Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
State Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, serves on the transportation task force holding hearings across Missouri.
“That’s what we’re going to determine here, whether we take six, seven cents (a gallon increase) with gas and diesel,” Reiboldt says. “We have truckers that are good with ten, 15 cents.”
Reiboldt tells Missourinet truckers oppose toll roads.
He says Missouri’s fuel tax hasn’t been increased in 21 years, as part of a bipartisan 1992 six-cent gas tax increase.
Missouri’s gasoline and diesel tax rates are both 17 cents per gallon.
The state gasoline and diesel tax rates in Kansas are at 24 and 26 cents per gallon, respectively. The rates in Arkansas are 21.5 and 22.5 cents per gallon, respectively.
The proposal to raise Missouri’s gasoline tax to fund transportation has divided Reiboldt and another key Republican lawmaker on the task force.
State Sen. Bill Eigel, R-St. Charles, says his constituents are paying enough in taxes.
But Reiboldt says Missouri’s fuel tax hasn’t been increased since 1996.
“We wouldn’t be here (in this position) if we had kept up with inflation, just inflation alone. Everybody, do you want to go back to the salary you made 21 years ago? I don’t think the senator (Eigel) does. I don’t,” says Reiboldt.
Senator Eigel says Missouri has a $27 billion state operating budget, and that “we are paying more for government now than ever.”
Meantime, another Missouri lawmaker on the task force says this month’s successful vote for a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport is a blueprint of how to pass a funding increase for MoDOT.
State Rep. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, notes voters in his hometown have also approved arenas, streetcars and entertainment centers in the past decade.
“When the voters are presented with the facts, we all stick together and lay out the issues that MoDOT or whatever agency we’re talking about, the voters respond,” Razer tells transportation task force committee members.
Razer tells Missourinet he hopes there’s enough support to get a gasoline tax increase on the statewide ballot next year.
The transportation task force will submit its recommendations to the Legislature by January 1.
Click here to listen to the full five-minute interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and State Reps. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, and Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, which was recorded on November 8, 2017 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City: