One of the main topics throughout the state of Missouri right now is the proposed one cent transportation sales tax. This would be a tax specifically to address the transportation needs in this state. As of right now the bill is starting its process through the legislature so there is a lot about it that is constantly changing, and uncertainty that it will make it out of the capitol and onto the ballot this November. While it is important for me to give you the most up to date information, the main reason I am writing this blog today is to educate you about what is going on. Come November, if this ends up on the ballot and subsequently passes, I want to make sure that all of the residents of Bates County win big and our transportation system receive as much as we can possibly get.
So, what exactly is the one cent sales tax? It is a tax that will last 10 years and is estimated to raise $7.9 billion during that period. The money raised would be used for all modes of transportation, including roads and bridges, pedestrian, bike, rail, freight, transit and air. As of now an estimated $1 billion will be allocated to Interstate 70 and $1.5 billion to widening, repaving, and rebuilding bridges and interchanged throughout the state. The cities and counties would also be receiving money from this tax, which is estimated to be $396 million over the 10 year period. The state Transportation Department would then have around $5.2 billion for all other transportation projects in addition to I-70.
The one cent sales tax went before the Legislature last year, but got filibustered in the Senate in the last few days of last year’s session. Shortly thereafter a group called the Missourians for Safe Transportation and New Jobs launched a campaign to have the one cent sales tax put on the ballot. While this initiative petition has gained momentum in the past few months, the efforts have been put on hold in an attempt to focus on putting the one cent sales tax back through legislature.
The bill was officially proposed by the transportation commission chairman at the beginning of February. If the legislature passes this bill, the proposal will then be put on the November ballot to be voted on by the people of Missouri. The next few months will be very critical in preparing for the potential funding allocation in the counties of Missouri, so if you are interested in looking at the house bill and getting updates, you can go to the following link:
Now, how would this tax affect Bates County? As part of the proposal, a list of projects will be provided to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT). To create this list, the regional planning commissions throughout the state have been asked by MoDOT to prepare the list by finding out what the transportation needs are at the local level. The lists will then be prioritized at the local level, then the county, region and district. This is a one-time chance for everybody in Bates County to speak up about what transportation projects they think are important throughout our county. While I remain neutral on the tax itself, I have been very involved with the process so that Bates County stands a better chance of receiving better roads, bridges, trails and rail systems if this tax passes. So if you have any projects (large or small) that you would like to put on our list, please contact me! I am working very hard to make sure that this county is represented throughout this state.
Below are links that I have used for this entry and will give you a more in depth look at the tax if you are interested. I will continue to give updates as it progresses.