Amendment 7 is a ¾ cent sales tax for 10 years expected to generate over 5 billion dollars within that time period. MoDOT (Missouri Dept of Transportation) will receive 90% of the money from the tax. Cities and counties will get the other 10%. The agency’s major project is the rebuilding / expansion of I-70 with a cost estimate between $2 and $4 billion.
Groceries and Fuel are exempted from the tax.
Fuel taxes can not be increased during the 10 years. While some consider that a plus, it’s a ridiculous policy to put into our constitution that users of our roads can not be taxed to pay for the roads via fuel taxes.
6 reasons to vote NO! on Amendment 7
#1 Road repairs should be paid for primarily by those who use them the most – via taxes on gas or diesel fuel. Amendment 7 strays from this common sense policy. If this passes, a Grandmother on social security will pay more every time she shops in Missouri, while truckers who drive through Missouri will not pay any more than they did before. 55% of Missouri’s truck traffic has neither an origin nor destination in Missouri. They do the most damage to our roads yet they get a free pass for 10 years. It’s just bad policy to increase taxes on our lowest income citizens and let the big rig trucks not pay for their wear and tear on our roads.
#2 Amendment 7 would be the largest tax increase in the history of Missouri and would double MoDot’s budget. Yes MoDot has less money today than during the “Shovel Ready days of Obama Stimulus money” MoDot spending surged during the past few years with one time projects and federal stimulus money. Now they want you to fund that level of spending to become the new normal.
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#3 Local sales tax rates would zoom to over 10% in some locations . Missouri would be come the 7th highest rate for sales tax in America.
#4 MoDot has been on a campaign promising ‘candy’ to anyone who might support this tax increase. Airports, new sidewalks for cities, light rail. Sharing your money with cities and counties. Many promises outside of MoDot’s true mission. While their efforts in the past couple of years are very questionable. I-35 is a good case in point. In the last year, MoDot resurfaced nice smooth areas of I-35 south of Cameron. But they left untouched the worst part of that 10 mile stretch.
#5 If you believe the lottery saved our schools, then you might believe this tax increase will save our roads. It is a general revenue tax increase – earmarked for roads, bridges, bicycle paths, new buses, etc. But one must observe how the whole budget process works in Jeff City to really understand that a targeted tax increase does not work like it appears. Lets compare to your house hold budget. Maybe you want to pay off your credit card bill so you have a garage sale this month and raise an extra $500. The bill comes and you send them all the garage sale money; $500! Now do you send your regular payment of $400 too? Or do you take the $500 just as promised. Amendment 7 looks like a slush fund to me, just another tax increase.
#6 Kansas City and St Louis highways have been under construction for as long as anyone can remember. The ‘interstate systems’ built for those cities are quite frankly amazing. Both cities now have some of the most dense highway networks in the nation.
St. Louis & Kansas City have the most highway lane-miles per capita of any major American city.
Good Job MoDot, now you can stop all that building and focus on keeping our roads smooth and pot hole free and do it without a tax increase.
This is a guest post by small business owner Paul Hamby. Our thanks to him for this wonderful full assessment of this ridiculous request for unneeded additional taxation.