To The Editor:
Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) strongly supports Amendment 7, the three-quarter percent increase in the state’s sales and use tax for improvements to roads, bridges and other priority transportation projects in Missouri.
Our manufacturers and other businesses need a rich and robust transportation system to keep people and products moving in and through Missouri. We must protect Missouri’s status as the transportation hub of the country.
With gas tax revenues declining, and the possibility that federal transportation funds may dry up altogether, the Missouri Department of Transportation estimates funding could drop from its current $700 million to less than $425 million in the next five years.
In its 2013 report, MoDOT says that figure falls “far short of what is needed to maintain Missouri’s network of more than 34,000 miles of highways and more than 10,000 bridges.”
The idea of a general sales tax has been vetted thoroughly over many years and is the most promising funding source for transportation in Missouri over the next 10 years. Unlike a sales tax, the current gas tax revenue does not change with the economy, meaning transportation dollars do not go as far in building roads. A sales tax helps protect against changes in the economy that can shrink the amount we can spend on projects.
AIM is proud to join other industry, labor and citizen groups in supporting a sustainable transportation solution that will create jobs, improve road safety and ensure fiscal accountability.