Chamber of Commerce looks to promote gas tax on November ballot
COLUMBIA - Columbia's Chamber of Commerce plans to help promote and educate voters on a gas tax they will see on the ballot in November. Missourians have not seen a gas tax approved since 1992, when the legislature did.
Proposition D would raise the gas tax 2.5 percent each year, starting July 1, 2019, for four years and pay for road improvement across the state. Annually, the tax would raise $288 million for the State Road Fund.
The Columbia Transportation Committee talked Wednesday about its plan to support Prop D and educate people on what it means.
Jerry Dowell is the Coordinator of Government Affairs for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and attended the meeting. He said he feels good about the proposition.
"I feel pretty confident about Prop D, I think it’s helpful that the Governor and Lt. Governor are in support of moving forward with new and more infrastructure and transportation funding,” he said.
This money would go to state road maintenance and construction as well as the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Department of Revenue.
An additional $123 million would be raised each year for local governments across the state for road maintenance and construction.
Columbia would see about $1.7 million from the increase in the gas tax, on top of the $2.7 million Columbia currently receives from the gas tax.
Boone County would get an additional $933,000 if Prop D passes.
Dowell said there are a lot of things this money could help improve.
"It’s fixing and working on our infrastructure, I think there's a lot of projects the city and county can partner on," he said.
Dowell said it's been 26 years since the gas tax was last raised.
"We for far too long have neglected what we need to do with our roadways, it’s much more than a tax,” Dowell said.
He said in the next 13 weeks before the November election he has one over-arching goal.
"I think more than anything its about getting out there and educating the voters about why this is important," Dowell said.
Proposition D will be on the ballot on November 6.