A potential statewide sales tax to improve road conditions gained new life recently, but not everyone thinks the initiative is a good idea.
The Missouri Association for Social Welfare (MASW) is opposed to an initiative petition filed by Missourians for Safer Roads and New Jobs that would establish a one-cent sales and use tax. The proposed tax could raise $8 billion to fund road improvements throughout Missouri. MASW believes the tax is regressive and would affect lower-wage citizens more than their higher-wage counterparts.
A proposed 1-cent sales tax for transportation has stalled in the Missouri Legislature.
The sales tax proposal was projected to generate nearly $8 billion over a decade for state highways, local roads and other modes of transportation such as railroads, airports, mass transit and river ports. Cities and counties would each get 5 percent of the revenues, with the rest going to state projects. Voters would have had to approve the tax in 2014 to enact the proposal.
The typical Missouri household might have relatively little to gain from a Senate-endorsed overhaul of the state's tax policies.
The proposed mixture of income tax cuts and sales tax hikes could save a few dozen dollars annually for a family of four earning just slightly more than Missouri's median household income of about $45,000.
Wealthier taxpayers, particularly those running their own businesses, might save a lot more. Yet seniors reliant on Social Security benefits could pay more.