The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruled on Sept. 4 that a referendum increasing the fuel tax by 10 cents over four years can stay on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The appellate panel of three judges agreed that it was premature to challenge Prop D’s constitutionality before the vote takes place.
The lawsuit claimed the Prop D bill was unconstitutionally altered from its original intent by adding the fuel tax referendum to an Olympic medalist tax break. However, last month a judge ruled that the bill’s provisions “undoubtedly have a natural connection to regulating Missouri’s state revenue stream.”
Missouri’s fuel tax is among the nation’s lowest and hasn’t been increased since 1996. MoDOT manages the 7th largest transportation system in the U.S. but ranks 46th in revenue per mile.
If passed, Prop D will generate an estimated $288 million annually for the State Highway Patrol, freeing up the same amount to go toward road and bridge repairs. The measure will also generate an estimated $122 million annually in new money for county transportation projects.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a leading advocate for transportation funding. The chamber’s Missouri 2030 study by Gallup found that only 37 percent of the state’s business leaders are satisfied with Missouri’s infrastructure. In June, the chamber launched a grassroots Prop D campaign along with its statewide federation of local chambers. Learn more at missouricantwait.com.