MoDOT director says Missouri's roads need gas tax vote to pass

Jim Cunningham
August 06, 2018 - 6:39 am

Missouri Dept. of Transportation


Three months ahead of the November 6 general election, Missouri Department of Transportation administrators are hoping for a green light on Proposition D, which would enable the first increase in the state's fuel tax since 1992.

If the measure passes, the fuel tax would increase by 10 cents a gallon over four years. Much of the increase in revenue would go toward repairs to roads and bridges.

During the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission meeting in Lee's Summit last week, commissioners pressed the need, once again, for raising the state fuel tax. Missouri has the 7th largest transportation network in the country, yet it ranks 46th in funding. 

A gas tax hike is long overdue, said Pat McKenna, MoDOT director.

"We've done a reasonable job with the resources entrusted to us," McKenna said. "It limits what we can do reconstruct an aging infrastructure while we're using it."

The current fuel tax is 17 cents a gallon, the second lowest rate in the nation. The legislature deserves credit for allowing the question to go to a public vote, McKenna said. 

"What they wanted to do is not increase the size of government," McKenna said. "What they wanted to do is reset the rate so we could buy the same amount of construction and get a lot of work done that needs to be done."

Proposition D would also provide more money for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Traffic enforcement is another important factor in making Missouri roadways safer, McKenna said.

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