Missouri General Assembly Passes Opportunity for Sales Tax Increase for Transportation Funding

AASHTO Journal, 16 May 2014

On Wednesday, the Missouri General Assembly approved a measure that would allow voters to weigh in on a three-fourths-cent temporary sales tax to fund transportation projects across the state.

The passage of House Joint Resolution 68 comes just weeks after the Missouri House and Senate passed their separate measures, disagreeing on the tax increase amount. The House had approved a one-cent sales tax to raise revenue for transportation, while the Senate bumped that amount down to three-fourths of a cent. Ultimately, the House voted to go with the Senate plan at three-fourths of a cent.

The legislation stipulates that the new revenue would fund road and bridge construction, and could not be used for anything other than transportation. Ten percent of the funding raised would be set aside for local transportation projects (5 percent each for counties and municipalities), while the remaining 90 percent will go to the “Transportation Safety and Job Creation Fund,” used at the discretion of the highways and transportation commission. The measure dictates that Missouri Department of Transportation would have to create a list of approved possible projects that could be funded through the new revenue. The measure, if approved by voters, is expected to produce $480 million more each year for the Transportation Safety and Job Creation Fund and $54 million for local governments.

“Today is a great day for the future of transportation in Missouri. I would like to thank the General Assembly for passing this important legislation that gives Missourians the opportunity to improve our economy and keep our families safe by investing in much-needed transportation improvements,” said Missouri Department of Transportation Director Dave Nichols in a statement. “We are working with planning partners around the state and representatives from every mode of transportation to determine how this new revenue could best improve our total transportation system. We are ready to deliver the projects and services that Missourians expect and deserve.”

Voters will see this issue on the ballot across Missouri in November.

Additional information on House Joint Resolution 68 is available here.

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