Gas Hike Could Pay For I-70

1 decade 10 months 3 weeks ago Friday, March 30 2007 Mar 30, 2007 Friday, March 30, 2007 10:17:35 PM CDT March 30, 2007 in News

A new funding plan would raise billions to fix the interstates, as proposed by MoDOT and one state representative.

Five decades ago when Interstates 70 and 44 began, Missouri's population was about four million. Today, Missouri has about six million residents, and many of them drive the interstates every day.

State Representative Neal St. Onge wants these drivers to pay to improve things.

"I've increased car liscense fees by $15, truck liscense fees by $20, I'm increasing the gas tax by $0.04 per gallon, the diesel tax by $0.06 per gallon, and putting a two percent sales tax on fuel, and we're adding a one half general sales tax on items sold in Missouri," he said.

With at $685 million generated each year, a total of $4 billion will be generated in six years under St. Onge's plan.

"The plan would divide the money like this, more than 3.5 billion to rebuild I-70 with separate truck lanes, nearly 600 million for other state transportation needs, about 50 million for public transportation and about 40 million for ports expansion," he said.

"i see the safety aspect, but i don't think the money is going to be used very well," said Missouri driver Josh White. "If we're going to tax people, I think we should use the money for something that's a little more important than having a place for trucks to drive."

St. Onge wants his plan to go before the voters by august of 2008. He says there would be a sunset on the taxes, meaning they would end automatically after six years.

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