Transportation bill rolls through House committees

Some legislators at the State Capitol call it a band-aid, others said it was going to be dead-on-arrival, but with just a few days left in the legislative session the bill that puts the question of whether or not to raise the state’s fuel tax by 5.9 cents a gallon to a statewide vote is still on track to pass the legislature.

On Monday, Senate Bill 623 was voted “Do Pass” by the House Select Committee on State and Local Governments. That means the bill is now on a House calendar and could be brought up for debate on the House floor before the end of the session Friday evening at 6:00 p.m.

Most legislators say the bill is far from perfect. Committee member Rep. Joe Adams (D-University City), in an interview with the MissouriNet called the bill a band-aid, but still voted in favor of sending the bill to the House floor.

The bill would raise the state’s gasoline and diesel taxes to 22.9 cents per gallon.

The tax increase would raise about $236 million in added revenues for MoDOT. $165 million of that would go to the state’s highway system, with the additional $71 million going to local roads and bridges.

AIM and the Missouri Transportation Development Council (MTD) have been constant supporters of legislation that would raise revenues for the state’s transportation needs.

Still, Senate Bill 623 faces an uphill climb in the House where many leaders have said they don’t support raising taxes to pay for transportation infrastructure.