Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Area Engineer Preston Kramer will discuss Constitutional Amendment 7, a proposed temporary transportation sales tax, during Monday night’s meeting of the St. James City Council. The issue will appear on the August 5 primary ballot, giving voters the opportunity to decide if they want a three-fourth cent sales tax for road improvements.
The amendment on the ballot reads: “Should the Missouri Constitution be changed to enact a temporary sales tax of three-quarters of one percent to be used solely to fund state and local highways, roads, and bridges and transportation projects for ten years, with priority given to repairing unsafe roads and bridges? This change is expected to produce $480 million annually to the state’s Transportation Safety and Job Creation Fund and $54 million for local governments. Increases in the gas tax will be prohibited. This revenue shall only be used for transportation purposes and cannot be diverted for other uses.”
MoDOT road budgets have been tight over the past several years and the tax would assist with projects to improve Interstate 44, road construction throughout the state, and projects both at the local and state level. Ninety percent of fund generated from the sales tax would fund state projects, with 10 percent for local projects.
This would also change the way roads are funded. The transportation agency relies on motor fuel tax, vehicle sales tax, and vehicle registration and driver’s license fees as funding sources. The state fuel tax is 17 cents per gallon and hasn’t changed since 1992. As drivers operate more fuel-efficient vehicles or drive less, funding has decreased due to the loss of fuel tax.
Kramer will give the council and overview of the issue and detail how the money would be used to fund projects in the area, should it pass. The council meets Monday night at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Center and the meeting is open to the public.