by Matt Kalish
Having failed to increase the state sales tax to fund transportation projects in the legislature this year, advocates now are looking to the ballot box.
Lobbyist Rodney Gray submitted a proposed ballot measure on Oct. 22 that would increase the state sales tax by one cent to fund new transportation infrastructure projects. A similar proposal to increase the sales tax was debated in the legislature this year, but it failed to pass after a group of Senate Republicans blocked the bill in May.
Gray filed the proposal on behalf of former state senator and chairman of the Missouri Highway Commission Bill McKenna. The measure’s supporters argue it is the only way to fund new transportation projects, such as replacing the aging Interstate 70.
Rep. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester, voted against the proposal in the House this year and remains opposed to the tax increase.
“A one cent sales tax is a huge tax increase for Missourians,” Koenig said. “That’s something I’m going to be opposed to.”