Economy
11:21 am
Fri January 25, 2013

MHTC Chairman Proposes One-Cent Tax Increase To Add $8 Billion For Transportation Needs

A proposal is being floated by the head of the state’s Highways and Transportation Commission that would raise nearly $8 billion for Missouri’s transportation needs. It consists of a one-cent sales tax that would be in effect for 10 years, and would need approval from both the legislature and Missouri voters.

MHTC chairman Rudy Farber says if approved, $1 billion would be set aside for expanding I-70 from four to six lanes between Wentzville and Independence.

“You would prohibit trucks from driving in the third lane, and I have seen this done in a number of places in the United States, and it does increase traffic flow enormously and keep it much, much safer,” Faber said.

Farber says the proposed I-70 upgrades would not include turning it into a toll road or incorporating separate truck-only lanes, and the one-cent sales tax would not be levied on purchases of groceries, medicine or gasoline.

“We’re not saying we have the final draft of this, but we are asking for input and we are going to be studying it,” Farber said. “The members of the commission, while we have not formally adopted this, have certainly discussed it among ourselves.”

Also, one-tenth of the nearly $8 billion raised would be distributed to cities and counties for local transportation needs.