First District County Commissioner Tim Brinker

The Franklin County Commission formally endorsed a proposal in the state Legislature to put a 1-cent transportation sales tax before voters to improve roads and bridges.

“We go on record in support of the proposal and hope that it passes,” Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer said Tuesday after the 3-0 vote to endorse the tax.

He added that a letter can be sent to Franklin County’s legislative delegation showing that the commissioners support the sales tax proposal.

If the Legislature passes the tax, then approval of the tax could go before voters in the November 2014 election.

Officials say the measure would generate an estimated $7.9 billion over the 10-year life of the tax to improve roads and bridges across the state.

About 10 percent of that funding would go to cities and counties across the state.

First District County Commissioner Tim Brinker made the motion to formally endorse the transportation sales tax.

“We have a lot of highways to take care of,” Brinker said.

He added, “In the meantime, our infrastructure, being roads, are deteriorating to a level that we need a fix.”

A good thing about the tax is that it allows the public to take part in identifying projects that should be funded through the tax, Brinker said.

“I really, firmly believe that this is the best way to go for all Missourians in improving our infrastructure as it is today,” Brinker said.

With current revenue, the Missouri Department of Transportation will no longer be able to match federal highway dollars in about four or five years, Griesheimer said.

“There will be a definite shortage,” Griesheimer said, adding, “There has to be an increase in revenue somewhere.”