Following an endorsement by the Washington City Council, the 353 Redevelopment Corporation Wednesday endorsed the state fuel tax increase that will be on the ballot in November as Proposition D. Statewide it has received many endorsements. It also has been endorsed by the Washington Area Highway and Transportation Committee.
There has been a bit of confusion about the tax increase providing some funds for law enforcement (Highway Patrol). The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) currently funds the Patrol and roads and bridge work through the same mechanism. Under Prop D, the Patrol would have dedicated funding from the fuel tax hike and that would free up the funds MoDOT now gives to the Patrol for road and bridge work.
What adds to the confusion for some people is that the ballot wording does not include the words “roads and bridges.” Supporters of the tax hike missed the legal deadline for the words to appear on the ballot so the proposal was added to another ballot proposal that makes prizes for Special Olympics athletics exempt from state taxes and creates an Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund. A spokesperson for Prop D told the city transportation committee that the fuel tax hike was added to the constitutional change regarding the Olympic athletes because that question already was approved for the ballot.
The 10-cent fuel increase would bring that total tax to 17 cents a gallon. The 10-cent hike would be phased in over four years — 2 1/2 cents a year. Counties and cities also would share in the increase for road and bridge work.
The General Assembly voted to put Prop D on the ballot.