Senate Gives Initial Approval to Transportation Sales Tax Hike

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A measure that would ask voters to approve a sales tax increase for transportation infrastructure projects received first-round approval in the state Senate Wednesday.

The bill calls for a one-cent sales tax, 10 percent of which would go to local transportation projects and 90 percent to state transportation projects.

It's expected to generate $8 billion in revenue over the next ten years.

Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, says the state's tax policy is in a "desperate situation."

"I think it's a regressive tax and I'd rather raise the income tax on some of these corporations and fix these brackets so we can pay for our roads," LeVota said.

Others said the bill would provide flexibility for counties with much needed infrastructure projects.

Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau, said "if we want to continue to draw the economic development to Missouri, we need to take care of our infrastructure."

Another vote is needed in the Senate before the bill moves on to the House.