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The Chamber has long been a supporter of investment in our transportation infrastructure. Our roads and bridges are critical to helping us utilize our natural geographic advantage in the center of the nation.
But we risk losing that advantage if we don’t act now.
Thousands of bridges across Missouri are in need of repair. Our state’s highway and road system – the seventh-largest in the country – requires billions of dollars just to maintain safe conditions, let alone expand to meet the demands of growth.
And yet, Missouri’s main source of revenue for roads and bridges – the statewide fuel tax – has not changed in 22 years. It sits at 17 cents per gallon; adjusted for inflation, it means just 7 cents of purchasing power today.
A strong transportation system is vital to the Chamber’s core mission: growing our economy, helping businesses thrive and create jobs. But our state’s investment in transportation has been woefully inadequate.
That’s why we support Proposition D, a statewide ballot issue being put before voters on November 6 that would gradually increase the state fuel tax by 10 cents over four years.
It’s a reasonable, accountable approach that will help us meet the demands on our state roads. A yes vote would cost the average driver a little over $5 a month at the full 10 cents per gallon rate – a small investment for safer roads and peace of mind on our highways.
It will also create a dedicated funding stream for our state law enforcement, which is also funded by the state fuel tax, and free up more money for road and bridge improvements.
It would provide funding for local municipalities as well, which get a portion of their road funding from the state’s fuel tax. Springfield is estimated to get more than $2.5 million a year in additional funding once the tax is fully implemented, while Greene County will get nearly $2 million more.
And it comes with accountability, as the proposition includes regular audits and constitutional designation so that the money can’t be used for other purposes.
All of these points are why so many statewide organizations and leaders are behind this initiative, from business and professional organizations to labor unions, city and county leaders and safety groups. Both Governor Mike Parson and Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe have endorsed the issue as well.
Gov. Parson is fond of saying that we can’t “kick this can down the road” any longer, and we agree. It’s time to make an investment in the future of our state. We urge you to join us in voting yes on Proposition D on November 6!
Note: Our Election Center has more information on this issue and other issues that will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.