Maurice Harris

In today's Columbia Missourian, an article discusses the problems that the Missouri Legislature is having in finding an appropriate amount to tax to improve transportation infrastructure in Missouri. Both the House and the Senate transportation chairman, Neal St. Onge and Bill Stouffer respectively, want to raise the sales tax by either 1/2 cent or 1 cent to improve roads in Missouri. Yet both sides are far from agreeing on many of the details of the new tax, which they want to send to the voters by the August 2008 election:

The chairmen of the House and Senate transportation committees have
proposed their own transportation tax packages with hopes of putting
them on the August 2008 ballot. But both said Monday that prospects for
legislative approval appear iffy and a better route may be an
initiative petition by citizens.

Overall, the voters of Missouri will have to decide on any tax increase for future projects, but I believe the better option to this problem of funding transportation construction is coming from Sen. Matt Bartle:

Separately, Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee's Summit, has proposed a
constitutional amendment allowing the Missouri Department of
Transportation to operate toll roads.

Instead of raising taxes on people who may almost never use highways for long distance travel, put in tolls for people who always use the highways. It's a fairer way to collect money for roads and will cost taxpayers nothing — but the government will still receive the money they need to expand our transportation infrastructure in Missouri.

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Maurice Harris