Citizen Input Led Curtman to Oppose Transportation Tax - The Missourian: Local News

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Citizen Input Led Curtman to Oppose Transportation Tax

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Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:00 am

State Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific, said citizen input motivated him to vote against a bill that will allow state voters to decide if they want to impose a three-quarter-cent transportation sales tax on themselves.

Curtman said he heard from about 100 people on the transportation sales tax issue and only about four of them said they were in favor of it.

Based on that input he said he voted against the bill to represent the will of his district, he added.

Curtman was one of 43 House members who voted against the bill, and 105 supported it.

Some people told him that they thought it was contradictory for the Legislature to pass an income tax decrease and then ask voters to raise sales taxes.

Some people asked why the state could not use existing revenue to pay for transportation rather than spending that money on other programs.

“I think it’s a valid argument,” Curtman said.

The bill will allow voters to decide if they want to increase sales taxes for 10 years to pay for transportation projects across the state.

Locally, officials have said it could provide revenue to widen Highway 47 between Washington and St. Clair.

The vote on the transportation sales tax may happen in November or at a special election called by the governor.

The Associated Press reported that 90 percent of the money, or an estimated $480 million a year, would go to state transportation projects and the other 10 percent, or $54 million a year, would be allocated to cities and counties.

The sales tax would not apply to the retail sale of food.

State Reps. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, and State Rep. Dave Hinson supported the bill. Hinson was the sponsor of the bill.

State Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, opposed the bill.

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