Missouri's fuel tax hike in November receives bipartisan support

Published: Sep. 11, 2018 at 1:24 PM CDT
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Missouri's fuel tax increase up for a vote in November has bi-partisanship support.

If Proposition D passes, you'll eventually pay a dime more at the pump. If approved the tax would rise from 17 cents now to 27 cents in 2022, still below the national average.

Governor Parson, a Republican, is signaling his support for the tax increase. Republican Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe is backing it too. Democrat Claire McCaskill, at a campaign stop in Springfield this week, said she supports the fuel tax.

"As a Republican he and his Republican lieutenant governor are campaigning for the gas tax all over the state," said McCaskill. "They know they know what it will do for our state in terms of the economy."

The last time Missourians approved a tax increase on fuel was in 1992. A tax increase in 2002 failed miserably. But it included a general sales tax hike too. Supporters say the tax will generate at least $123 million each year for road construction and maintenance. MoDOT reports it would also generate $288 million for law enforcement.

Governor Parson says he's behind the gas tax bump for all that it does. He believes it would be a boost to all the state's infrastructure.

"When I talk about infrastructure a lot of times we think about highways and bridges," said Gov. Parson. "But, it's much more than that. It's about utilities. It's about water. It's about broadband. It's about a lot of other factors in there. And, if we really want Missouri to do well for the future, we gotta be prepared to make those changes."

Senator McCaskill says she hopes voters see those other benefits too.

"I also support the gas tax I think it's really important for Missouri," said McCaskill. "So we can continue to draw down the federal funds that we need."

Last week, a Missouri Court of Appeals judge tossed out a lawsuit looking to keep the gas tax off the ballot. Opponents say they will appeal.

Voters will decide the tax's fate November 6.