Last month, the Missouri Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri’s Transportation Needs issued its report on transportation in the state. There is a lot of interesting information in the report, but the main issue is funding.
Missouri needs to invest an additional $600 million to $1 billion annually in its transportation system. Missouri has the seventh largest transportation system in the United States, but it has the sixth lowest fuel tax.
Several funding proposal are mentioned in the report, but I think only two are realistic. That is, it is realistic that they could raise revenues; it is debatable whether they can win authorization. These are increases in sales taxes or fuel taxes, possibly both.
· Missouri’s sales tax rate (4.255 percent) is lower than any of the eight neighboring states. An increase of one cent per dollar (to 5.225 percent) would raise an additional $700 million annually.
· Missouri’s fuel tax rate is lower than all but one of its neighboring states, though it has substantially more miles of road than any of those states. An increase in fuel tax of one cent per gallon would raise an additional $30 million annually.
Increased investment in transportation could be a type of economic stimulus. For every $1 invested in results in $4 of new economic activity. In addition, $1 billion spent on transportation creates 27,000 jobs.
You can read the full report here→.