Next Steps Unclear After Missouri Gas Tax Increase Fails

By on November 8, 2018

From St. Louis Public Radio:  Supporters of a plan that would have boosted Missouri’s gas tax by 10 cents are plotting their next steps after voters rejected the increase Tuesday.

Proposition D failed 54 percent to 46 percent, winning just six counties, all of which are located along Interstate 70. Voters last approved an increase in 1996.

The money would have boosted spending on roads and bridges, and given a dedicated source of funding to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The Missouri Department of Transportation said in a statement it would continue to do everything it can for the state’s roads with the resources it has. The department was not counting on the additional $400 million a year, so projects currently on the state’s construction list are likely not at risk.

Pat White, president of the St. Louis Labor Council, said he thinks confusing language and a long ballot were partially to blame for Prop D’s defeat.

“When you overload the folks, especially in a midterm election, I just think that if people really don’t read into it, they’re not going to get how important it is or where this is coming from,” White said. “Just from what I saw on let’s just say social media and some of the outlets, folks just didn’t really seem to know what was really behind it.”

White said his members have enough construction work on tap in the St. Louis region that jobs aren’t as big of a concern as they might have been seven or eight years ago. The bigger worry, he said, is safety.

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