On August 5, Missourians go to the polls to weigh in on the future of the state’s transportation fund.
Rather than enacting a temporary fix through an incremental gas tax hike, the Missouri Legislature put the matter in the hands of constituents in the form of Constitutional Amendment 7 which will appear on the August 5 ballot. If passed, the constitutional amendment will increase the sales and use tax three-quarters of one percent for a period of 10 years. This increase will establish a dedicated funding source not only for the state wide transportation system but, also county and city roads.
With the exception of everyday expenses like, food, gas, utilities, or home and car payments, an additional three-quarter of one percent tax will be added to the existing state sales and use tax. In fact, during this 10-year period the state will be prohibited from raising the gas tax!
It is estimated the proposed sales tax increase could lead to $5.4 billion over the lifetime of the tax -- approximately $600 million of which will be diverted to county and city transportation projects. To put this into perspective, the Missouri DOT Long Range Transportation Plan estimates that over the next 20 years, Missouri has at least $70 billion of infrastructure projects requested throughout the state, but only $17.3 billion of available funds are expected to be available.
A “yes” vote will ensure a reliable and sustainable source of revenue for the Missouri’s transportation fund. When August 5th arrives we ask that voters remember this:
✓ Money from the tax will only be spent on the improvement of roads, bridges, and other priority transportation projects in Missouri.
✓ 90% of the revenue will fund priority transportation projects, statewide, through the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
✓ 5% will be given to counties and 5% given to cities for local transportation projects.
✓ All projects completed through MoDOT will be voted on by the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission and completion will be constitutionally guaranteed.
✓ This sales tax will only apply to non-essential items, specifically exempted are: groceries, gas, utilities, mortgage and car payments, healthcare, prescription drugs, education, and retirement savings.
✓ Creating the tax through a constitutional amendment prevents future politicians from diverting funds to non-transportation spending.
In anticipation of the additional funding, MoDOT has even updated its project list. Failure to increase the sales tax will mean status quo when it comes to Missouri’s transportation infrastructure. For this reason it is critical Missourians vote “yes” on Constitutional Amendment 7 and help lawmakers direct much needed funds toward maintaining, and improving, statewide transportation systems.
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