The two Republican State Representative candidates in Missouri's Third District went head-to-head in a public forum Tuesday night. There, Incumbent Representative Nate Walker and challenger, Dr. John Bailey, both of Kirksville, shared how they feel about proposed Amendment 7.
At the candidate forum, the two candidates running for State Representative of the Third District shared their views on issues ranging from the economy to education. However, they came to a disagreement when it comes to passing Amendment 7 on August 5th. The Amendment proposed raising the state sales tax in order to help fund road improvements. The sales tax would be increased by 3/4 of a cent, which would make it the highest tax increase in Show-Me-State history. For this reason, Dr. John Bailey does not support the measure.
"It's one of the biggest tax increases we've ever seen in the state of Missouri," said Dr. John Bailey.
If the measure passes, the current gas tax would be frozen. Bailey and those against the Amendment say that raising the sales tax in the Show-Me-State is unfair, and the current tax on gas should remain as is. The gas tax would work as a 'user fee' for people driving on the state roads, instead of impacting those that do not drive or utilize them.
"We are not going to see the money spent on infrastructure in our area," added Bailey.
Incumbent Nate Walker, feels differently and supports Amendment Seven. The Missouri Department of Transportation has worked to put together a project list if this Amendment is passed.
"MoDOT has worked hard to come up with projects for every area in our state," said Incumbent State Representative, Nate Walker.
Some of the projects planned for Adair County if the measure is passed, include upgrading hangers and improving the terminal at the Kirksville Regional Airport, and constructing an interchange at the intersection of Route 63 and Route 6 South in Kirksville. Both of the candidates do agree that this is something that voters need to decide.
"I'm not going to tell people what to do once they get the opportunity, I'll give them the opportunity to be a legislator for a day," added Rep. Walker.
If the measure is approved by voters, it will mark the first statewide tax increase since 1993. It will also be the first tax increase for roads since 1992.