One-Cent Sales Tax Increase Will Fund New I-70 Project

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CALLAWAY COUNTY - If you're driving on I-70 between Boone and Callaway counties, you may see some changes in the near future.

MoDot plans to construct nearly 8-billion dollars in new highways by implementing a temporary 1-cent increase in the state sales tax. The project would construct a new I-70 highway as well as build a new highway from Fulton to the Callaway nuclear plant. The plan would also build a new 6-lane highway with 2 lanes used by trucks and 4 lanes used by cars and other smaller vehicles.

The department's current plan includes rebuilding nearly all of I-70 from Wentzville near st. Louis to Independence near Kansas City.

10 percent of the new sales tax revenue, about $400 million, would be shared with counties and cities around the state to help with street and road needs.

The temporary 1-cent increase in the state sales tax would expire after 10-years, and will not be collected on medicine, groceries, or gasoline. The increase would go on the November 2014 general election ballot unless Governor Nixon decides to place the issue before the voters at an earlier election.

The temporary extra sales tax money could not be diverted to other state uses and could be used only for transportation projects.

The plan would also include a provision that the state's gas tax could not be increased when the 1-cent sales tax hike is in effect, so drivers won't feel pain at the pumps because of this increase either.

Now, this sales tax increase would come in the form of a constitutional amendment, which could be placed before the voters by the Missouri General Assembly.

If the 10-year sales tax is not renewed by Missouri voters, other funds available to MoDot would be used to pay off the remaining bonds on the I-70 project.