Smart Decision 2014: Analyzing Amendment 7 - Sales Tax

1 year 11 months 3 weeks ago August 02, 2014 Aug 2, 2014 Saturday, August 02 2014 Saturday, August 02, 2014 12:29:00 PM CDT in News
By: Jessica Mensch, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Missourians will decide whether they are willing to pay extra at the store to fund transportation improvements, Aug. 5 at the polls. Amendment Seven, a sales tax that would go towards transportation funding, is one of five possible amendments Missourians will vote on at the primary election.

See opposing arguments. See supporting arguments.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, funding from an existing 17-cent-per-gallon fuel tax is not raising the revenue necessary to fund Missouri's transportation system, specifically road improvements and maintenance.

The fuel tax currently funds the majority of these improvements. The tax hasn't been raised in nearly 20 years, but costs of transportation improvements have increased with inflation. Cars are also more fuel-efficient than they were in previous years.

The proposed amendment would institute a .75 percent sales tax. This means for every 10 dollars spent at the store, there would be a cost of 7.5 cents to the consumer. Prescription drugs, gas, and most groceries would all be exempt from the tax.

According to the sample ballot, the tax would mean a projected, "$480 million annually to the state's Transportation and Job Creation Fund."

Since the bill would have a 10-year lifespan, an estimated total of $4.8 billion would go to improving Missouri's highways, roads, bridges, airports, railways, sidewalks and public transit options.

A similar 1-cent sales tax failed to reach voters in 2013 because of a Republican-led filibuster in the Missouri Senate.

Some lawmakers initially said the tax increase should only fund core infrastructure. The bill was stalled because Democrats in the House wanted it to also support alternative transportation. The final version of the bill includes alternative transportation improvements.

Amendment Seven began as HJR 68, which passed in the House on April 9, 2014.

The Senate returned a substitute bill to the House where it was approved on April 29, 2014. The Senate substitute reduced the tax from its original 1 percent to .75 percent.

The bill passed in the Senate the same day.

OPPOSITION TO THE TRANSPORTATION SALES TAX (See supporting arguments.) 

Amendment Seven has been a controversial topic among Missouri drivers, as well as many who don't drive. Opponents argue it disproportionately affects the poor, and that exempting gas from being taxed is unfair.

Terry Ganey with Missourians for Better Transportation Solutions, a group of individuals and organizations who have gathered to oppose the sales tax, said the amendment isn't fair to people who don't drive.

According to Ganey, those who don't have a car, or can't afford one, won't be able to reap the benefits of improved roads.

"Seniors, many of whom don't drive, would have to pay more in the sales tax," Ganey said. "While the trucks that use the roads and damage the roads would not have to pay any more in the motor fuel tax."

Many argue the only fair way to fund transportation improvements would be to tax those who use the roads the most, such as truck drivers.

"This amendment means no bucks from big trucks," Ganey said.

He said he supports transportation improvements but thinks the money should come from another outlet.

"The appropriate solution would be a fair solution that taxes the users of the roads rather than seniors and poor people who don't even use the roads," Ganey said. "Drivers have always paid for using the roads in Missouri through a fuel tax. Ours is one of the lowest in the country."

The American Petroleum Institute says Missouri has the sixth lowest gas tax in the country.

Gov. Jay Nixon has also expressed negative views towards the tax.

He said in a news release, "If this effort is successful, Missouri will have the dubious distinction of being a state that, in a matter of months, cut taxes on lawyers and lobbyists, but hiked taxes on bar soap and baseball gloves. I cannot in good conscience endorse a $6.1 billion tax hike on Missouri families and seniors when special interests and the wealthy are being showered with sweetheart deals."

SUPPORT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION SALES TAX (See opposing arguments.)

Supporters have said they agree with the sales tax because it would be a solution to fixing Missouri's roadways, and would support job growth.

Jewell Patek with Missourians for Safe Transportation and New Jobs, a campaign committee formed in support of the sales tax, said that all Missourians would benefit from this tax, because everyone relies on the roads in some way.

"We all use the roads. All consumer items, all groceries, everything comes through our transportation system," Patek said.

The sales tax would also benefit seniors and the poor specifically, Patek said.

Revenue from the fuel tax is currently not allowed to go towards public transportation, but sales tax revenues could.

"The sales tax can provide the resources that many seniors, for instance, and the disabled, rely on. This will provide additional funding for those resources that many of our poor rely on like bus and other things," Patek said.

Truck Driver and Missouri resident Jerry Johnson, also expressed support for the amendment.

According to Johnson, truck drivers already pay extra taxes on top of the fuel tax.

"Raising the fuel tax would just be excessive. It wouldn't do good things to our trucking industry," Johnson said.

MoDOT has released a list of projects to be funded in the central region.

 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway is touting her experience as a former U.S. attorney in... More >>
59 minutes ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 4:16:44 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A judge has rejected conspiracy allegations against Missouri State Highway Patrol commanders named in a... More >>
1 hour ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:42:52 PM CDT in News
JOPLIN (AP) — A 53-year-old southwest Missouri man has been ordered to stand trial in the death of a 61-year-old... More >>
2 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:10:16 PM CDT in News
MOBERLY - After four straight days with water boil advisory warnings, Moberly residents could see a solution to their water... More >>
2 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:03:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a St. Louis woman with arranging the deaths of two 16-year-old boys who... More >>
2 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:39:16 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri election officials are predicting 31 percent of registered voters will cast ballots in next Tuesday's... More >>
2 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:31:02 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine is seeking to rally support in Missouri, where he attended... More >>
2 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:25:11 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The executive director of the Missouri Veteran's Commission, Larry Kay, was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday. The... More >>
3 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:09:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia resident Beth Dixon and her team of volunteers finished preparing care bags for local law enforcement Thursday... More >>
3 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 1:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The owner of Columbia's Bocomo Bay retail store pleaded guilty Thursday for his role in conspiring to distribute... More >>
4 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 12:43:00 PM CDT in News
SCOTT CITY (AP) — A southeast Missouri man is facing charges after one of his stepchildren shot video that allegedly... More >>
8 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 8:44:05 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities are investigating after a woman was found dead inside a Kansas City apartment. Police... More >>
8 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 8:18:46 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives of a man badly burned after his SUV was hit by a car being chased... More >>
9 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 7:44:46 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The owner of Sweetie Pie's restaurants in the St. Louis area is suing her son, alleging... More >>
9 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 7:32:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A suburban Kansas City man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after a house... More >>
10 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 6:50:49 AM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Thursday marks the eighth Project Homeless Connect event hosted by the City of Columbia's Community Development Department. ... More >>
14 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:13:00 AM CDT in News
FULTON - A new outdoor activity has been bringing out Missourians to look for hidden rocks since the start of... More >>
17 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:58:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - One person died after a shooting at Allen Street and LaSalle Place, The shooting took place just before... More >>
17 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:37:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 87°
6pm 87°
7pm 86°
8pm 82°
9pm 78°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
8:00p
Hollywood Game Night
9:00p
NBC News Special: 2016 Democratic National Convention
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Beauty and the Beast
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld