To The Editor:
In the closing weeks of the General Assembly, I voted no on a constitutional proposal to raise the state sales tax by 1 percent for transportation-related issues.
Before the vote, I requested information to identify money that could be moved from unproductive programs to transportation but I hadn’t yet received a reply.
I voted no on the bill because I believe it would be wrong to ask our citizens to raise their taxes when neither they nor their representative know if there is money that can first be cut from wasteful programs and used for transportation-related costs.
If we have money in programs that have zero return, the state should do the responsible thing and make cuts to reappropriate money to other issues such as transportation, rather than ask our voters to just raise their own taxes.
Had I received an answer and the state actually needed an additional $750 million more from the taxpayers then I would vote yes to get the people’s permission for the increase. Unfortunately, my request wasn’t met until after the vote.
My answer identified nearly $450 million in certain economic development programs that are not yielding worthy results considering Missouri has dropped to 48th in GDP. Furthermore, we have gone from being the 24th most business-friendly state to the 31st.
As your state representative, I am compelled to vote no if I do not receive information that I request in order to make an informed decision.