Senate panel mulls transportation sales tax

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri senators are considering a plan that would raise the state sales tax by 1 cent to boost transportation funding.

The sales tax increase would require voter approval. After 10 years, it would be resubmitted for voters to decide whether to continue. In addition, the state’s gas tax rate would be frozen and existing roads could not become toll roads.

The Senate Transportation held a hearing on the plan Wednesday.

Supporters estimate the tax could raise nearly $8 billion over 10 years. Ten percent of the proceeds would go for local transportation needs.

Instead of raising the sales tax, a policy researcher at the St. Louis-based Show-Me Institute says he favors an increase in gas taxes and vehicle registration fees. He also says Missouri should explore additional public-private partnerships.

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