MoDOT says debt is not a problem

Posted on 7 November 2017 at 4:31pm

JEFFERSON CITY – A Missouri voter-approved initiative has not reached the fund total  expected by this time.

The November 2004’s Constitutional Amendment Three was voted in by Missouri residents to better fund highways and bridges in the state. The amendment required funds from the motor vehicle sales taxes to be used for roads, highways, or bridges instead of general budgeting.

In 2004, some construction was advanced through debt. The revenue from the amendment will be used to pay for those debts.

However, the funds from the initiative have not been enough to meet bond payments.

Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna said the debt should not worry people yet because it should be covered by the year 2025 if current revenue projections hold. 

“The Amendment Three revenue between now and 2025 will be enough, greater than the remaining available debt service to cover the full interest and principal on all of the construction work funded by Amendment Three,” McKenna said.

McKenna said the money from the debt was used to boost construction, which was important in Missouri.

“This construction work that’s done, you know when you talk about some of these things they last for 30, for 50 years. So, the citizens are getting the early benefit.” Said McKenna.

Some money from the initiative was diverted to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which also added to the debt.

Policy makers determined some money from the amendment could be diverted to the state highway patrol to help budget it.

McKenna said even with these diversions, the debt should still be met with revenue.

“It is a manageable level of debt that we are managing today. We are benefiting from all of the construction that was done as a result of it, starting back in 2004.”