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Drivers react to Missouri bill that would increase motor fuel tax

Missouri roads are falling apart. Now lawmakers propose raising the state’s motor fuel tax to provide funding to fix those roads without first getting voter approval.

Mark Rubemeyer said filling up at the pump each week can be a struggle sometimes.

“My wife works, I work, my son works so we’re running three vehicles up and down the road everyday and it gets expensive,” said Rubemeyer.

And some Missouri lawmakers are proposing a bill that would increase the state’s motor fuel tax which means drivers would pay more at the pump. Rubemeyer said that’s something he doesn’t want to see happen.

“Everybody is squeezing the consumer for more and more and more and there’s only so far you can go with that. You know gas has gone up here over 40 cents a gallon in just the last few weeks,” said Rubemeyer.

But lawmakers say they need that money to continue to improve the states roads and infrastructure. MoDOT officials said they plan for current funding and have projects identified if more funding would become available.

“It also allows us to look at needs that there may not be funding for at this time so it allows an ongoing planning process,” said Missouri Northeast District Engineer Paula Gough.

Gough said if funding were to become available some of the projects they could accomplish includes widening shoulders and adding turn lanes in places that need them. She said continued investment is important.

“That’s why we focus on our planning process the way it is. It can be focused on current funding as well as scaled up to include additional funding,” said Gough.

The bill to increase the motor fuel tax has yet to be voted on but, Governor Parson has said he would support it.

Voters denied a motor fuel tax increase last November. In February, a lawmaker introduced Senate Bill 430 to do just that anyway. If passed, it would increase the state’s fuel tax by 2-cents immediately and then every year until 2021. Currently, Missouri’s motor fuel tax is 17-cents per gallon.

View the Missouri ballots here.
See all of our Decision 2019 election coverage here.

Brett Knese

Multi-Media Journalist at WGEM News.

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