The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission proposed a tax increase this week to benefit the state’s transportation system. Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross talk to spokesman Bob Brindel:
If approved, the the one cent general sales and use tax would have significant impact on the future of the department and allow them to return to a level near where they were prior to budget cuts. “Over a ten year period, it would generate $7.9 billion that would be shared with cities and counties,” said Brindel,” Some of it would be used to rebuild and expand I-70 and the rest would be distributed to the seven MoDOT regions based on the commission’s revenue sharing formula.”
Brindel went on to explain the department’s current funding level and maintenance-only status. “Right now, our construction budget is at approximately $700 million, but it wasn’t too long ago that it was at $1.2 billion,” said Brindel,” We are maintaining the system to the best of our ability with the resources we have, but with vehicles getting better gas mileage, people driving less and using other modes of transportation, the fuel tax, as it stands today which is the primary way transportation is funded, will not be a growing revenue source moving forward.”
According to Brendel, it is the hope of the commission that state lawmakers place the proposal before Missouri voters.
Kevin Keith, director of the Missouri Department of
Transportation, issued the following statement this afternoon in response
to the funding proposal that was unveiled today by Missouri Highways and
Transportation Commission Chairman Rudy Farber. Farber was speaking at the
2013 Missouri Conference on Transportation, co-sponsored by the Missouri
Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Farm Bureau.
“We are excited the Commission has taken leadership in pursuing a
real solution to Missouri’s transportation funding problems. We are also
very appreciative of the Legislature’s heightened awareness of the value of
transportation investment for our state. The Commission’s proposal could go
a long way toward creating jobs, making roads safer, reducing commuter
congestion and stimulating economic activity for a more competitive