KTVO breaks down transportation sales tax increase ballot measure
This August, Show-Me-State voters will be deciding Amendment 7, a ballot measure that could help improve state roads.
If approved, Amendment Seven would raise the state sales tax by 3/4 of a cent for ten years.
"It's estimated that over the ten year time period of this tax that this would generate $480 million a year for the state to devote to transportation projects," said Dr. Randy Hagerty, a Political Science Professor at Truman State University.
Although the Amendment has those that are in support and those that are against the measure, one thing can be agreed upon.
"A lot of the controversy behind this does not focus on whether we need to fix roads and bridges here in Missouri because almost everyone agrees that they are in terrible condition," added Hagerty.
This measure would freeze the gas tax if approved, but those against the Amendment say that raising the sales tax is unfair, and the gas tax should remain as is.
"They argue that a more fair way to fund road and bridge improvement in the state of Missouri would be to rely more heavily on the gas tax because this would make it more like a user fee for the people who do the driving in the state, and they should be the ones who bear more of the cost to pay for fixing the roads," said Hagerty.
However, those in support of the sales tax increase say that due to more fuel efficient vehicles the gas tax would not provide enough funding for the necessary projects.
"The proponents of the Amendment will say, we can't rely on the gas tax to adequately fund the transportation improvements that we need in the state," added Hagerty.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has already created a list consisting of hundreds of transportation projects that would be funded if Amendment 7 is approved.
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.