Governor Parson talking to citzen groups, asking for voter approval of Missouri gas-tax increase | St. Louis Public Radio

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Missouri Gov. Mike Parson outlined two priorities to drive the state’s economy during an appearance in St. Louis on Wednesday: workforce development and infrastructure.

The governor spoke at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center following an all-day summit convened to focus on the two issues. Parson urged the gathering of business and education officials from around the state to work together to prepare tomorrow’s workforce and to vote in November.

“If we really want to change the state of Missouri,” the governor said, “you’re going to have an opportunity at the ballot box to change Missouri for the better and to vote on an initiative that’s going to change infrastructure in our state forever. It’s going to take all of us working together to get that done in the state of Missouri.”

Parson was referencing the “Missouri Gas Tax Increase, Olympic Prize Tax Exemption, and Traffic Reduction Fund Measure” that will appear on the November ballot statewide. If the proposal is approved, it will increase the motor-fuel tax by 10 cents over four years. It is the first attempt to impose a gas-tax increase since 1992.

MoBikeFed comment: Transportation funding is traditionally a bipartisan issue. So it is very interesting that with Governor Parson we have the first Missouri governor in at least a decade--a time period that includes governors of both parties--who is willing to stand up and strongly support an increase in the fuel tax.

The fuel tax doesn't receive automatic increases with inflation, and the last time voters approved a change in the gas tax was in the early 1990s. The rate approved in the 90s, adjusted for inflation, would be about 10 cents higher than our current fuel tax--one reason the support in the General Assembly coalesced behind a 10 cent, incremental, fuel tax increase this year.

The proposal will be placed before voters in the November 2018 general election.