State Rep. Dave Schatz, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, again has reiterated his disappointment in the failure of a transportation tax bill from the recent legislative session.
The bill would have put a 1-cent sales tax on the ballot, and voters would have decided whether they wanted to tax themselves to improve the state’s ailing roads and bridges.
Schatz sat in on the Missouri River bridge committee meeting Thursday, June 20. Committee members asked Schatz what the future of the bill was, even though it failed this session.
“It’s important not only to this district, but it’s important to the state,” he said. “I think it’s important for job creation and growth, the best thing we can do is develop infrastructure that attracts businesses and industries to our state.”
Schatz said that some elected officials who originally opposed bringing the bill to voters now are thinking, “it wasn’t such a bad idea.”
Schatz said he’s hopeful that the bill will make another run and will get passed.
“We are going to have to find a way to fund our transportation. There’s not another funding alternative,” he told the bridge committee members.
Schatz said he was most disappointed that the decision came down to a few House members and senators who were against letting voters make a choice to invest in infrastructure.
“I have a difficult time with a few senators being the ones who determine the fate of infrastructure and funding in our state,” he said. “I think we missed a great opportunity to open the door for business (in our state).”
John Griesheimer, Franklin County presiding commissioner, said a bill could be passed by the Legislature in 2014, even though it’s an election year.
Washington Mayor Sandy Lucy thanked Schatz for his leadership on the bill and all committee members agreed to do whatever needed to help get a future bill passed to improve infrastructure.