The topic of transportation funding is among the issues addressed in legislation filed in the lead-up to the Missouri regular session.
Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Springs, has filed two measures to tap state surplus revenue to expand Interstate 70 from Kansas City to St. Louis. Specifically, his pursuits call for widening the roadway to four lanes in each direction.
The east-west highway linking the state’s two metropolitan areas is mostly two lanes in both directions.
Surplus funds sought
Eigel says a $6 billion state surplus could be used to cover the costs for expanding the interstate to four lanes.
Pandemic-related federal funds are credited for the state’s current budget surplus.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has estimated that adding a third lane in both directions of I-70 would cost more than $2.7 billion. At this time, there is no estimate for expanding the roadway to four lanes in each direction.
Details of legislation
The measures call for allotting 2% of net general revenue collections annually for the project. Any money in the general revenue fund exceeding $4 billion, but not to exceed $1.5 billion, also would be applied for the work.
The requirements would sunset in 10 years.
The measures can be considered during the session that begins Jan. 4.
Fuel tax relief
Sen. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, has filed for consideration a bill to provide some tax relief for many highway users.
In 2021, the governor signed into law a bill to increase the 17-cent fuel tax rate by 12.5 cents to 29.5 cents over five years. The law includes a fuel tax rebate program for residents.
The first installment of annual 2.5-cent increases took effect in October 2021. The second installment went into effect on July 1.
The tax rate now is set at 22 cents for gas and diesel purchases.
Additional 2.5-cent increases will take effect each July through 2025.
Moon’s bill, SB260, would repeal the tax increases and return the rate for gas and diesel to 17 cents.
It would have an effective date of Aug. 28, 2023.
Moon says the state should relieve some tax burden on Missourians because roads are in good shape.
Similar pursuits were introduced during the 2022 regular session and during this fall’s special session, but none garnered much support. LL
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