It was reassuring to hear Missouri Speaker of the House Tim Jones say that he is open to reconsidering a transportation sales tax ballot initiative next year.
Jones made the comment in a stop in Washington last week to discuss this past legislative session. It was good to see Jones in the county with stops in both Washington and Union. More importantly, it was good to hear him acknowledge that Missouri has a transportation funding crisis.
A bill that would have placed a 1-cent sales tax on the ballot for voters to consider failed in the Legislature this year. The measure would have generated almost $8 billion over a 10-year period. Jones said he preferred a quarter-cent or half-cent proposal but indicated that finding a transportation funding plan was something that needed to be addressed. He called it “unfinished business.”
We hope Jones and his fellow lawmakers take care of this unfinished business. Call us old-fashion, but we still subscribe to the notion that we elect politicians to find solutions to problems.
There’s no disagreement that many of our state’s roads and bridges are in serious disrepair.
We understand that to fix the problem it is going to take a new revenue source. We also understand political reality. The Republican-dominated Legislature is never going to approve a tax increase — even to repair roads and bridges — a basic function of government.
That means the people are going to have to solve this problem themselves via the initiative petition process.
All we are asking is for the politicians to put it on the ballot so we can solve the problem ourselves.