transportation tax

Missouri transportation leaders are looking to regroup following voters' overwhelming rejection of a proposed  sales tax to fund road and bridge improvements on Tuesday.

Despite supporters spending millions, the measure lost by roughly 58 percent to 41 percent. And it lost across the state -- in St. Louis, St. Louis County, the Kansas City area and even in rural parts of the state. In St. Louis and St. Louis County, the measure went down by a 2-to-1 margin.

woodleywonderworks / Flickr

Missouri is headed to the polls this week to vote for, among other things, a ¾ cent sales tax increase that would be used to fund Missouri’s Department of Transportation, or MoDot. Missouri citizens have the special privilege of deciding whether to bankroll a decade of transportation projects, thanks to former Missouri congressman Mel Hancock.

Hancock grew up in Springfield, Mo and before being elected to the U.S House of Representatives in 1989, he forever changed Missouri’s tax code with something called “The Hancock Amendment.” The amendment limits the power of the state legislature to raise taxes on its own, only allowing for small, inconsequential bumps. Voters have to approve bigger tax increases in an election, like the one Missouri is having this week.

tractor on farmland
(tpsdav/pixabay)

Two proposals on Missouri's August ballot are attracting millions of dollars of campaign spending.

Finance reports filed Monday show supporters of a transportation tax already have spent $2.5 million and have nearly $1.7 million available for their final push.

By contrast, opponents of the three-quarters-cent sales tax have spent just a little over $22,000.

A proposal creating a constitutional right to farm has spawned a somewhat closer financial battle.

If Missourians back a transportation sales tax next month, road workers can expect a busy decade. 

That's a key takeaway of a St. Louis Public Radio analysis of a project list approved by the state's Highways and Transportation Commission. It's what will be funded if voters approve a 0.75 percent sales tax increase on Aug. 5.

Shelby Mann / KBIA

MoDOT is holding public comment sessions to gather feedback on a proposed transportation tax in Missouri.

The proposed Amendment 7 introduces a three-quarter cent sales tax that would fund transportation projects over a 10 year time period from 2015 to 2025. Voters will decide on the August fifth primary election ballot.

Nick Komisar / KBIA

Missouri Senator Mike Kehoe continues to show his support for the Transportation Sales Tax initiative, that goes before voters in August.

Kehoe, a Republican from Jefferson City,  spoke on the effort at The Columbia Chamber of Commerce meeting Monday afternoon.

Voters will decide whether to increase the state sales tax rate by three quarters of a cent for a 10-year period to help fund MoDOT projects. The tax is expected to produce $480 million annually to the Transportation Safety and Job Creation Fund.

If you had $1.49 billion for transportation projects, how would you spend it? Would you repair highways? Bolster mass transit service? Enhance bike lanes?

This isn’t some academic exercise. The St. Louis region’s political leaders are considering how to divide the potential proceeds from a 0.75 percent sales tax increase for transportation. These decisions could have a transformative impact on how St. Louis area residents get around.

But here’s the twist: You have to make this decision very, very quickly.

When it comes to a proposal to raise the state’s sales tax to pay for transportation projects, two of Missouri’s top Democratic officials appear to be on opposing sides of the fence.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill favors the proposal, which – if approved by voters in August – would enact a 10-year, 0.75 percent sales tax for transportation projects. And even though he’s sent signals that he opposes the proposal, Gov. Jay Nixon is withholding statements about the tax increase for now.

The Missouri Senate has passed a proposed constitutional amendment to create a temporary sales tax to fund transportation needs around the state, but not before scaling it back.

highway
Dreamstime

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects.

House endorses transportation tax vote

Apr 8, 2014
missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

  The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a temporary one-cent sales tax to fund transportation needs.  The tax hike would require voter approval and would expire after 10 years unless renewed by voters again.  Before the vote, an amendment was offered that would have raised the state’s fuel tax from 17 to 20 cents per gallon.  It was sponsored by Democrat Jon Carpenter of Clay County.   “The Missouri gas tax has not increased in many years, and it hasn’t kept pace with inflation, and the amount of money we get to be able to