State Ponders Paying for Roads
All across Missouri, highway signs point out projects that Amendment 3 funds paid for. Voters passed the measure last year to make sure all gas tax money pays for road work. However, the amendment will end in five years, so the Missouri Transportation and Development Council is looking for other ways to pay for road improvements.
"The key and number-one priority, in my opinion, is that the plan has to be honest, forthright and the Missouri citizens have to understand what it is they are voting for and where the money is going," said Gary Marble, Transportation Development Council member.
One possibility is a public-private partnership, where a private company builds a bridge, for example, and the public repays the company later.
Another possibility could include tolls on Missouri highways, but that would require voter approval and an amendment to the Missouri constitution.
"I think the tolls are a really bad idea, because there are so many people that commute from Columbia to Jeff City," said Jefferson City resident Krystal Evers, "and I think we already pay enough in taxes for the highways."
The transportation council will consider more ideas in the next few months to help pay for highways. Officials also say small increases in sales and gas taxes could help, but those plans would probably need voter approval.