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MoDOT "disappointed" by transportation sales tax defeat

Posted: Aug 6, 2014 9:21 AM by Jessica Mensch, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Aug 6, 2014 2:04 PM

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JEFFERSON CITY - Officials from the Missouri Department of Transportation said Wednesday they will continue looking for solutions to Missouri's transportation funding shortfall, despite voters rejecting a major funding proposal Tuesday.

"Our task ahead is no different than it was yesterday, and that is to continue to do the best we can, with limited resources, to provide safe and efficient transportation," Steve Miller, Chair of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, said.

Miller said that while he might not agree with the outcome, he is glad Missourians could make an informed decision at the polls.

"Our job is to educate the public and let them make an informed decision," Miller said. "So while we're disappointed, the process played out and I'm proud of the effort that we've done to educate Missourians."

A 3/4 cent sales tax increase failed to pass during Tuesday's Primary Election. It would have gone to funding transportation maintenance and improvements to roads and bridges.

"What's here that has not changed today is we have a problem with the funding for transportation," Miller said. "We have unmet needs that directly impact the safety on our roads and economic opportunity. Those aren't going to change; those are going to continue to grow."

Miller said "every option will be on the table" moving forward to find a solution to Missouri's lack of transportation funding.

MoDOT Director Dave Nichols said he will continue to work toward improving roads and bridges, but extra funds will be necessary if Missouri hopes to fix its transportation system.

"We are going to keep pushing really, really, hard to keep our highway system and our bridges in good condition with the dollars we have," Nichols said. "But we're not going to be able to do it forever."

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