A bill supporting a temporary one cent sales tax has been introduced in the Missouri General Assembly. Senate Joint Resolution 16 and House Joint Resolution 23 were filed this week. Senator Mike Kehoe, who sponsors SJR 16, said once it makes it through the legislature, Missouri voters will decide on the measure.
Click to hear the Press Conference Senator Kehoe held Wednesday morning:
If the resolution gets through the legislative process, but before it goes before voters, the Highway Commission would publish a list on what the funds will be used for. Kehoe said this increases accountability. Other safeguards for Missourians are in the bill, including prohibiting an increase on the gas tax or tolls on state roads.
If it passed, the bill is expected to bring in about 7.9 billion dollars over ten years. The tax would not apply to medicine, groceries, or gasoline. Ten percent would be distributed to cities and counties for local transportation purposes.
Statement from Senator Mike Kehoe
JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, and Sen. Ryan McKenna, D-Crystal City, today introduced legislation which calls for a temporary one-cent sales and use tax dedicated specifically to the transportation needs of cities, counties and the state system. Senate Joint Resolution 16 would raise an estimated $7.9 billion in new transportation funding would be generated during the 10-year life of the temporary sales and use tax.
“As policy-makers, it is our job to put forth ideas for funding transportation infrastructure. This legislation, which, if passed, is expected to generate and support tens of thousands of boots-on-the-ground jobs,” said Sen. Kehoe. “Good, safe and reliable transportation infrastructure is foundational for Missouri’s economy. If we don’t have it, we fall behind. If we cannot maintain it, we fall behind. When approved by the citizens of Missouri, this will allow us to have and maintain safe and reliable transportation infrastructure into the future, attract new folks to our communities, and make it easier for businesses to get their products out to the world.”
The legislation calls for 10 percent of the new revenue to be distributed to cities and counties for local transportation purposes. The tax would not be collected on medicine, groceries or gasoline, and would expressly prohibit any toll roads from being established on existing highways for the duration of the tax period.
“This visionary proposal sets the stage for a much better transportation system,” said Sen. McKenna. “The system we hand down to our children could be much safer with shoulders on rural highways, stronger bridges and more capacity to reduce congestion on overcrowded highways.”
The bill requires annual reports by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission to detail projects, budgets and timelines regarding the use of new revenues. Revenue from the tax can be used on transportation projects only and cannot be diverted.
Should SJR 16 pass the Legislature, the proposal will be placed before Missouri voters for approval.