City boards support fuel tax increase

By Adam Rollins, Record Staff Writer
Posted 3/11/18

Missouri voters will choose Tuesday whether or not to support a 10-cent increase to the state’s motor fuel tax. Proposition D would impose a new gas tax on fuel sales to fund state law enforcement …

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City boards support fuel tax increase


Missouri voters will choose Tuesday whether or not to support a 10-cent increase to the state’s motor fuel tax.

Proposition D would impose a new gas tax on fuel sales to fund state law enforcement and local road projects. Missouri’s current motor fuel tax is 17 cents per gallon. Over a four-year period, Prop D would gradually increase the tax to a total of 27 cents per gallon.

If passed, the measure is estimated to generate over $288 million annually for Missouri state law enforcement and $123 million annually that would go to local governments for road construction and maintenance.

City governments in several Warren County communities have expressed support for Prop D, saying that funds from the increased fuel tax would improve the safety of local streets and bridges. 

The Warrenton and Truesdale boards of aldermen and the Innsbrook Board of Trustees have all signed a resolution promoting the benefits of Prop D to voters.

“Missouri has not raised its state motor fuels tax since 1996, and has in the ensuing 22 years seen a significant erosion in its purchasing power for road and bridge construction and maintenance,” the resolution states. It adds that many roads and bridges in Missouri are in dire need of repair.

The Wright City Board of Aldermen passed a similar resolution, but stopped short of directly advocating for the passage of Prop D.

Below is a breakdown of the estimated annual funding for road projects local governments will receive if Prop D passes. Information was provided by the Missouri Municipal League.

• Warren County — $399,000

• Warrenton — $124,000

• Wright City — $49,000

• Marthasville — $17,800

• Truesdale — $11,500

• Innsbrook — $8,600

• Jonesburg — $12,000

• Foristell — $8,000

State roads, law enforcement

The ballot language for Proposition D is as follows:

“Shall Missouri law be amended to fund Missouri state law enforcement by increasing the motor fuel tax by 2 1/2 cents per gallon annually for four years beginning July 1, 2019, exempt Special Olympic, Paralympic, and Olympic prizes from state taxes, and to establish the Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund?”

The new tax would be placed on gasoline, diesel fuel and other alternative fuels.

Of the additional 10 cents per gallon generated by Prop D, 7 cents would go to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the remaining 3 cents would be divided among the state’s cities and counties to pay for local road projects.

Supporters say Prop D also will make more money available for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to maintain state highways. Although more money for MoDOT isn’t mentioned in the Prop D ballot language, Missouri’s constitution only allows fuel tax money to be used for road funding or the highway patrol.

Supporters reason that with the 10-cent increase fully dedicated to the highway patrol, a similar amount of the original 17-cent tax will be freed for the state Legislature to give to MoDOT.

Prop D also includes two secondary provisions. One is an unrelated bill that would provide a state tax exemption for prizes and medals won in the Olympics and similar events. 

The other provision would establish a fund for major road projects aimed at alleviating truck traffic bottlenecks. However, Prop D doesn’t assign any money or revenue sources to the fund. The Legislature would have to appropriate money for it in future years.

Trucks travel along Interstate 70 in Warrenton. The interstate has been a talking point for statewide transportation improvements. Proposition D, on the ballot Nov. 6, is being billed as a benefit for local and state road projects.

Record photo/Adam Rollins