Proposed bill could increase gas tax over next three years

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JEFFERSON CITY - State lawmakers discussed a bill during a committee meeting Wednesday which, if passed, would increase the motor fuel tax by 6 cents over the next three years.

MoDot District Engineer David Silvester said the tax revenue would help MoDot with maintaining state highways and deteriorating bridges; repairs that would otherwise be put off because of budget reductions.

"Most importantly, this will help with safety repairs," Silvester said. "We'd be able to fund more projects related to making bridges safer and improve roads."

If passed, the bill would increase the gas tax by two cents every year for the next three years. Currently, Missouri's motor fuel tax is 17.3 cents per gallon. With the new bill, it would increase to 23.3 cents, causing roughly a thirty-five percent increase over time.

Felecia Noguera, who's a driver in Columbia, said she is hesitant about the gas tax increase, but can see why it might be necessary."

"I can see why some people would be against anything that would raise gas prices," Noguera said. "If it means improving the roads then it might just be the easiest option to increase gas tax."

The bill's language explains the tax would be adjusted annually for inflation beginning three years after the effective date of the act. The bill is making its way through the Senate, and, if passed, would go into effect in August.