Missouri lawmakers to decide on gas tax increase

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 9:42 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - We could soon be paying more at the pump.

Missouri lawmakers are working to increase the gas tax.

A Missouri House committee has now endorsed the increase.

It’s already passed in the Senate.

Some say the price of gas in Missouri is already high. The possibility of increasing the tax per gallon isn’t necessarily appealing.

“Well there’s not a big choice in that is it? I mean, I don’t want any more taxes but if you got to pay them, you got to pay them,” said Alvin Wallf.

Supporters say the money collected would be put to good use.

“These roads are sorry. They need to do something with them,” he said.

“You think you build it and it’s fine but it’s not,” said Sara Fields, Ozarks Transportation Organization Executive Director.

Missouri hasn’t raised the tax on gas in 25 years. This makes it increasingly difficult to pay for repairs to roads and bridges.

“Our big issue is that the fuel tax has not kept up with inflation. Between inflation and increased fuel efficiency and fuel economy we’re just not able to have the spending power that we once did,” she said.

A proposal up for consideration would raise the state’s gas tax 2.5 cents per gallon, every year for the next four years generating a total of $450 million dollars.

Also included is an option to get a yearly rebate of the tax money you spend on fuel.

“When I was up in the capital last week they were talking about how easy they are going to make that. They are really trying to make it a one-step, online process that you can do very quickly and easily. They want it to be simple,” said Fields.

Fields says without the increase our safety could continue to be compromised.

“We don’t a big amount of money, influx, we just want to keep up with what we’ve been able to do in the past,” she said.

Wallf says paying pennies on the dollar over time is worth it.

“Somebody’s got to pay for them. We drive on them. We need to keep them up,” he said.

If the measure gets approval from the house the tax increase could start as soon as this October.

The measure also calls higher fees for electric vehicles and a task force to analyze their impact on transportation funding.

But the legislative session ends in just about two weeks.

Right now there isn’t a vote scheduled.

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