The head of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has unveiled a plan for funding the state’s aging highways and bridges with a new one-cent sales tax.
The one-penny tax would last for 10 years, and would need approval from both lawmakers and Missouri voters.
Transportation Commission Chairman Rudy Farber says the tax would not be collected on medicine, groceries or gasoline purchases.
“We’re not saying we have the final draft of this, but we are asking for input and we are going to be studying it. The members of the commission, while we have not formally adopted this, have certainly discussed it among ourselves,” saysFarber.
Farber says if approved, it would generate nearly $8 billion dollars, one billion of which would be used to expand Interstate 70 from four to six lanes between Independence and Wentzville.
“You would prohibit trucks from driving in the third lane, and I have seen this done in a number of places in the United States, and it does increase traffic flow enormously and keep it much, much safer,” says Farber.
Also, one-tenth of the nearly $8 billion raised would be distributed to cities and counties for local transportation needs.