By John Sharp
This proposal would increase the state’s current 17 cents a gallon motor vehicle fuel tax by two and one half cents per gallon for four years beginning July 1, 2019. It also would increase the tax on alternative fuels used for motor vehicles from 17 cents to 27 cents per unit equivalent to a gallon of gasoline beginning January 1, 2026.
Revenue from the increase will be used to fund the Missouri State Highway Patrol, allowing the Missouri General Assembly to shift a like amount in current fuel tax revenue now used to fund the Highway Patrol to highway and bridge construction and maintenance.
When fully implemented, the increase is expected to generate $288 million more a year for state highway and bridge construction and maintenance and $123 million more a year for city and county streets and bridges. Kansas City expects it will get about $7.2 million annually for city streets and bridges if this proposal passes once it is fully implemented.
Despite having the 7th largest state highway system in the nation and the 6th largest state bridge system, Missouri ranks 49th in the nation in its motor fuel tax rate which was last raised in 1996.
The state has over 2,000 bridges rated in poor condition or weight-restricted.
There is no organized opposition to Proposition D.
It has been endorsed on a statewide level by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Automobile Club of Missouri. Locally it has been endorsed by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Freedom, Inc., and the Kansas City Star newspaper.
In south Kansas City, due at least partly to the major growth our area has experienced in transportation dependent shipping and manufacturing facilities that civic leaders want to continue, Proposition D has been endorsed by the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the South Kansas City Alliance and Southland Progress.