You would be voting on a state gasoline tax increase proposal, under a key recommendation from Missouri’s transportation task force.
State Rep. Kevin Corlew, R-Kansas City, chairs the 21st century Missouri transportation system task force, which met Tuesday at the Statehouse in Jefferson City to discuss its draft 60-page report.
Corlew notes the task force is recommending a ten-cent gasoline tax increase and a 12-cent diesel tax increase.
“This additional investment by highway users would raise approximately $430 million annually to improve our roads and bridges,” Corlew says.
Missouri’s fuel tax hasn’t been raised since 1996. The state’s gasoline and diesel tax are both currently 17-cents a gallon.
If the Legislature approves the task force recommendation, the issue would go before Missourians on the statewide ballot.
Chairman Corlew tells the audience that an increase in the range recommended by the task force would simply take into account the loss of purchasing power due to inflation.
“For instance a gas tax, if it were to be 27-cents per gallon is the same as what we paid in 1996 at 17 cents (per gallon),” says Corlew.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) predicts the average Missouri motorist would pay an additional $5 per month, under the proposal.
Meantime, MoDOT says congestion in St. Louis and Kansas City and along Interstates 44 and 70 in Missouri is causing an annual economic loss of $575 million.
MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna says an additional investment of more than $400 million annually would help modernize roads and bridges.
“We have 10,400 bridges in this state and we have over 2,000 in this state that need work,” McKenna tells Missourinet. “That requires money to do so.”
If voters approve the increase, McKenna says the Missouri road fund would be boosted by $322 million annually.
Tuesday’s work session took about two hours. The task force held seven public hearings and three work sessions in 2017, all since June.
The task force will submit their final recommendations to the Legislature by January 1.