Governor Mike Parson appears to support a bi-partisan ballot measure before voters in November that would boost Missouri’s fuel tax. Parson, a Republican, tells reporters at the Capitol in Jefferson City that a meeting Tuesday with seven Missouri mayors focused on many issues they are facing, including the need to address the state’s deteriorating infrastructure system.

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson held numerous meetings on May 30, 2018 in Jefferson City (photo courtesy of Parson’s office)

“I’m going to be supporting infrastructure in the state of Missouri. And yes, if that’s a part of the infrastructure plan, then we’re going to be supporting infrastructure in the state. I have ever since I’ve been running for office and I think that’s important. We cannot keep kicking that can the road and doing nothing for infrastructure,” Parson says.

The proposal would boost the state’s gas tax by 2.5 cents annually for the next four years. The tax is projected to raise $240 million annually to help fund Missouri’s roads, bridges and port systems. The measure would also provide $288 million each year for law enforcement and $123 million annually for city and county projects.

“That’s where it’s going to take us all working together. We need to make sure we have a good plan in place. The thing about it is, the public is going to decide that. The voters are going to decide that,” Parson says.

For years, members of the Missouri Legislature have wrestled with finding a solution to address the state’s transportation needs. Opponents of a gas tax increase say Missourians do not want a tax increase.

Missouri’s gasoline tax is one of the lowest in the nation – 17 cents per gallon. It has not been increased since 1996.

Parson’s Tuesday meeting included Mayors Sly James, Kansas City; Kathy Rose, Riverside; Brian Treece, Columbia; Len Pagano, St. Peters; Karen Best, Branson; Tom Schneider, Florissant; and Carrie Tergin, Jefferson City.

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