The language could have led to the failure of November’s proposed fuel tax increase, according to AAA spokesman Mike Right. He tells Missourinet affiliate KWIX in Moberly that Proposition D would have boosted the fuel tax by two and a half cents annually over four years.

Photo courtesy of MODOT

“A lot of people that I spoke with that actually voted no were concerned about the way the proposition was worded,” Right says. “Otherwise, they had no problem with the gas tax increase in terms of their additional spend or the need to have additional revenue. Their concern was a bait and switch.”

The measure asked voters if Olympic medals should be tax exempt for Missourians who win them and it would also have helped to fund State Patrol enforcement efforts.

He thinks the Legislature will make highway funding a key issue in the upcoming legislative session.

“We lost the election to increase the motor fuel tax at the November election, but that doesn’t solve the problem. We still have hundreds of millions of dollars of unmet needs in our Missouri highway system and they have to be addressed,” he says. “The Legislature can do some incremental things, but it’s not likely to have any dramatic impact on the overwhelming needs of the highway system.”

He says lawmakers could also choose to reword the ballot language and put the issue back before Missouri voters.

The session begins January 9 in Jefferson City.

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