Transportation funding measure heard in House committee
A Missouri House committee is considering a bill to invest in the state’s transportation system through a fuel tax increase. House Bill 822 would increase the state’s fuel tax from 17 cents per gallon to 27 cents per gallon.
A similar fuel tax increase was defeated at the ballot by Missouri voters in November. However, Rep. Steve Butz, a Democrat from St. Louis, crafted his bill in a way that draws important distinctions from the failed Proposition D.
The proposal by Rep. Butz would spread the tax increase over five years, compared to the four in Proposition D. Spreading the increase over five years — resulting in smaller annual tax bumps — would give the legislature and the governor the authority to enact the transportation funding package without waiting for another election.
House Bill 822 also differs from Proposition D in that it is a simple fuel tax increase that would boost funding for the Missouri Department of Transportation. Proposition D took a multifaceted approach that included provisions regarding law enforcement funding and creating new tax exemptions for Special Olympic, Paralympic and Olympic prizes.
Transportation funding remains a focus for the Missouri General Assembly this year. In addition to House Bill 822, lawmakers are also considering a concept by Gov. Mike Parson to use bonding to raise $351 million and repair 250 bridges.
Some lawmakers are also exploring ways to use the state’s general revenue to pay for transportation infrastructure repairs.
With the state’s transportation funding currently ranking 48th in the nation in revenue per mile, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry remains a leading proponent for finding a funding solution. Improving our infrastructure is one of the main drivers of the Missouri Chamber’s Missouri 2030 strategic initiative.