FUNDING: Missouri House committee says up to $1 billion needed for transportation

Lawmakers debate higher sales tax, shifting of funds from other programs

Funding News St. Louis Post Dispatch January 09, 2013
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A bipartisan committee of the Missouri House said in a report released Wednesday that the state needs to pull together between $600 million and $1 billion a year to address critical transportation needs.

 

While the report offered no official stance on how to collect the necessary funds, several state lawmakers are offering their own plans. Rep. Bill McKenna—co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri’s Transportation Needs that generated the report—stated his preference for asking voters to approve a one-cent increase in the state sales tax. He estimated the move would generate $700 million annually.

 

McKenna’s proposal has received support from Sen. Mike Kehoe, who has announced his intention to introduce a constitutional amendment asking for such a sales tax increase over a specific period. The amendment would include a list of specific highway and bridge projects to be funded.

 

Kehoe also said that under his plan, some of the money would be earmarked for cities and counties.

 

On the other hand, House Speaker Tim Jones hopes to avoid a tax increase, instead shifting money from other programs, such as Medicaid.

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