Missouri Transportation Commission Proposes 1-cent Sales Tax

The Missouri Transportation commission recently proposed a 1-cent sale tax to fund such projects as roads, bridges, and other infrastructure needs. The proposed sales tax would last 10 years and raise an estimated $7.9 billion in funds during this period. Voter approval would be needed to enact the tax.

The plan would require the transportation commission to publish a list of specific projects and timelines for voter consideration. The transportation commission would then provide an annual report to the state legislature and governor. The current sale tax rate on gasoline would be frozen and the proposed tax would not be levied on groceries and medicine.

Officials estimate cities and counties would receive an estimated $396 million over the 10 year period while the state transportation department would have about $5.2 million. This $5.2 million would be used for road, bridge, transit, rail, waterway, aviation, and other projects in addition to the $1 billion set aside for the I-70 project. The I-70 project would include adding westbound and eastbound lanes in between Independence MO and Wentzville MO. An estimated 270,000 jobs could be supported for the 10 year period as well.

There has been a growing concern about funding for the state’s transportation infrastructure. A task force assigned to transportation funding estimated in a recent study stated Missouri should be spending an estimated $600 million to $1 billion annually on transportation projects.

Legislators have indicated support for a possible bond package which would include construction for transportation projects, state facilities and college campuses. A state sales tax increase would need the approval from the Missouri State Legislature.