Tom Warne Report, 18 May 2013
JEFFERSON CITY – A proposal to increase the Missouri sales tax by 1-cent to fund highway construction died on the final day of the Missouri legislative session after a Republican-led filibuster succeeded, Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, told colleagues.
Kehoe’s proposal, which would have been placed on the November 2014 ballot, was withdrawn from consideration Friday. Voters would have decided on the sales tax to fund $8 billion in transportation projects.
Joe Carmichael, Chairman of the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission, said the bill had plenty of support, but was killed by a filibuster by a few lawmakers.
“Denying the people a right to vote is not the way to go,” said Joe Carmichael. Major projects such as the 60 and 65 interchanges are not going to occur any time soon as MoDOT has had to cut nearly 20 percent of its workforce since 2011 due to low funding. “Those kinds of projects will not happen in the future because there’s simply not the money there to do it. We’ve gone to a situation in this state where we are maintaining the system. We are in a maintenance only mode,” Carmichael said.