Odessa’s mayor supports the ten-cent gasoline tax increase that will appear on your November statewide ballot, noting that his growing western Missouri community needs a new I-70 interchange.

This is the Missouri House voting board, as Governor Mike Parson addressed a joint session of the Legislature on June 11, 2018 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

Missouri Governor Mike Parson tells Missourinet he’s hearing a lot of support for the gas tax increase, from mayors like Odessa’s Adam Couch.

“I think everybody knows that infrastructure is going to be a priority,” Parson says. “It’s going to be a priority of this administration and I think right now it’s just a priority for the state of Missouri. And I think there’s a huge opportunity to be able to do some projects much like what he’s (Mayor Coach) talking about, maybe.”

Odessa’s population is now about 5,300, and its median household income has jumped to $48,932, according to the Odessa Chamber of Commerce website.

Odessa’s median household income was about $34,000 in 2000.

Odessa Mayor Couch says transportation is one of the biggest issues facing his town.

If Missourians approve the gasoline tax increase, it would be phased in over four years at 2.5 cents annually.

Missouri’s fuel tax hasn’t been increased since 1996.

Governor Parson says he’ll continue to reach out to rural and urban mayors across the state to hear their concerns.

Parson met last week at the Statehouse in Jefferson City with five mayors from the Kansas City region, including Couch.

“But really we want those second layer of mayors that we want to be able to reach out to in those smaller communities to make sure their voices are being heard and see how the things are that we might be able to help them to do their jobs,” says Parson.

Independence Mayor Eileen Weir, Sugar Creek Mayor Mike Larson, Lee’s Summit Mayor Bill Baird, Oak Grove Mayor Jeremy Martin and Mayor Couch all participated in the meeting.

All of those cities are located on or near I-70.

Governor Parson says infrastructure and workforce development are two of the biggest priorities for mayors.


Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and Missouri Governor Mike Parson, which was recorded at the Governor’s office in Jefferson City on July 17, 2018:

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