SaferMo.com launches campaign in support of motor fuel tax increase

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Supporters of a proposal to raise Missouri's gas tax by 10 cents over the next four years kicked off their campaign Thursday in Jefferson City.

The proposal is Proposition D. It will raise the gas tax in Missouri by 2.5-cents every year for the next four years.

Supporters say it's important that this passes in November, because the state hasn't seen a gas tax increase in the last 22 years.

"That's a generation since Missouri last raised it's state motor fuel tax," said Scott Charton, Communications Director for SaferMo.com. "In that 22 years, we have more miles of roads, more miles people are travelling on those roads, and the cost of roads and bridges is going up and up, and inflation is eating up our purchasing power."

That's why the legislature passed a bill during this year's regular session to help bring in more money to fix the roads and bridges.

"It's not a Republican or Democrat issue. It's an investment in our infrastructure issue," said Missouri's Lt. Governor, Republican Mike Kehoe. "It's an investment in our safety, and it's an investment in our families, and I think that's what we want to make sure we're well aware of as we move this question forward."

According to SaferMo.com, once the tax increase is fully implemented in 2022, the state will raise nearly $412 million dollars a year. That money will go to the State Road Fund, which would divide that money to each county and city across the state.

SaferMo.com breaks it down by city and county, and says the total amount Greene County could get starting in 2022 would just shy of 5-million dollars.

"More dollars spent on roads and bridges keeps us safe. It helps the economy," Charton added.

Despite bipartisan support, Proposition D has already faced several court battles.

Republican Representative Mike Moon of Ash Grove, and activist Ron Calzone filed a lawsuit last month saying the question was unconstitutional because it was added to a bill that would give a tax break to athletes who win Olympic, Paralympic, or Special Olympic games.

The lawsuit failed in both the circuit and appellate courts, and the state Supreme Court announced Wednesday they wouldn't hear arguments on the case.

"It's just time for Missouri citizens to decide. I think that's what's important. The courts, I believe, recognized that what the legislature did was the right vehicle. We had the right language and the right process to put in front of voters," Kehoe said. "So, now the courts have cleared the way for the voters to decide."

To see how SaferMo.com breaks down how much money each community and county will receive, click the link on the side of this article.