(Operations manager Scott McCaulley at Missourinet Branson affiliate KRZK Radio provided the audio for this story)
A November ballot measure to increase Missouri’s gasoline tax by ten cents per gallon has the backing of Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe. The Jefferson City Republican spoke to hundreds of local officials this week, during the 84th annual Missouri Municipal League (MML) conference in Branson. Kehoe notes Missouri’s gasoline tax hasn’t been increased since 1996.
“What the mayors here (at the conference) understand is they couldn’t run their city budgets and Missourians couldn’t run their household budgets if they didn’t have any extra income for 22 years straight,” Kehoe says.
The Municipal League’s board of directors has voted to endorse the measure known as Proposition D.
Lieutenant Governor Kehoe tells Missourinet Branson affiliate KRZK Radio (FM 106.3) that if Missourians approve the November measure, the gas tax would be phased in over four years at 2.5 cents annually.
“When you look at that two-and-a-half cents a gallon to the average family, that’s about $1.25 a month,” says Kehoe. “And I think when you look at the return you get on that $1.25 a month for your vehicle, if nothing else just for the maintenance and keeping up with your vehicle.”
Proposition D supporters say it would generate about $288 million annually in new road and bridge funding, and would provide municipalities with an extra $60 million annually to fund local transportation projects.
“We’ve kicked the can down the road long enough. Governor Parson and I both believe it’s time for Missourians to take a look at this and see if this is the right investment. We believe it is,” Kehoe says.
Missouri’s gasoline and diesel taxes have remained at 17-cents a gallon.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson, R, and U.S. Sens. Claire McCaskill, D, and Roy Blunt, R, also back Proposition D. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Farm Bureau and several labor unions also support it.
Earlier this month, the Missouri Court of Appeals in Kansas City dismissed a lawsuit from State Rep. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove. Representative Moon argued Proposition D violates the Missouri Constitution’s requirement of having a single subject for its ballot language.
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