Mixed thoughts on new fuel tax increase proposal for Missouri

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 5:02 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Prepare to pay more at the pump, while driving better roads and bridges throughout Missouri.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson Lawmakers noted he would sign a proposal passed by lawmakers to raise the 17-cent gas tax by 12.5 cents over the next five years. It’s the first increase in decades.

“I think it’s all right,” said driver Charlie Stokes. “We’re one of the cheapest in the United States, so I don’t see where we got any complaint.”

Driver Dennis Kidd disagrees.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” said Kidd. “We’ve, as the people of this country, voted numerous times that we didn’t want this.”

Voters turned down the increase multiple times in recent years.

“When they keep going on and doing things like this, I’m starting to have a hard time believing myself that our votes even matter,” said Kidd.

Lawmakers found a way to pass a tax without requiring voter approval, adding 2.5 cents a year. The tax would begin in October.  By 2025, for a 15-gallon tank, it would cost you an extra $1.87 to fill up.

“I don’t think it’s enough to bother anybody,” said Stokes.

Lawmakers have created an opportunity for a refund of the new tax, if you save your receipts and file the appropriate paperwork.

“It’d be worth a try, worth a shot, said Kidd. “I’d probably start looking into it a little bit more.”

Though state leaders do not know how many will ask for a refund, MoDOT estimates the tax could bring in an additional $400 million a year for the state’s roads and bridges.

”This can has been kicked down the road so many years, so many sessions,” said Derick Barnes of the Heavy Construction Laborers Local 663.

Contractors working on the state’s roads are pleased to see the tax approved.  The industry and the state’s infrastructure will benefit.

“They’re falling apart,” said Barnes of the roads. “So like I said, it’s a long time coming, and it’s a great day.”

The proposal also calls for higher fees for electric vehicles.  It forms a task force to look at their impact on transportation funding.

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