Missouri House passes 1-cent sales tax increase

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri House members passed a 1-cent sales tax increase for transportation funding Wednesday, but the issue that has divided the majority Republicans is still a long way from becoming law.

The House voted 96-53 to send the proposed constitutional amendment to the Senate. If passed there, Missouri voters would need to approve the tax at the November ballot.

The measure needed help from minority Democrats to win House approval because only 63 of the chamber's 108 Republicans voted in favor. It takes 82 votes to pass legislation in the House.

Republicans supporting the measure said funding roads, bridges and other transportation needs are a core function of state government that should be through taxes. They argued the estimated $800 million in annual revenue from the sales tax would help the cash-strapped road construction budget. State transportation officials estimate that budget will shrink to $325 million in 2017 at current funding levels.

"We are not going to be able to do the basic road maintenance," said sponsoring Rep. Dave Hinson, R-St. Clair. "It's only going to get more dramatic from here."

But other Republicans said voting on a tax increase runs contrary to the party's small government values. That philosophy led a group of GOP senators to block a final vote during the closing days of last year's legislative session on a similar penny sales tax hike.

The leader of that effort said after the House vote Wednesday that his feelings about the sales tax increase haven't changed since last year, but that negotiations were ongoing with the measure's backers. Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue, said "all things are possible," when asked if the bill could win Senate approval this year.

"This is the single largest tax increase in state history," he said. "From that perspective, it's easy for me to oppose."

Even if the bill's supporters could overcome the objections of Lamping and other conservative senators, the tax increase could have a difficult time on the ballot. Missourians have frequently rejected tax increases, including a 2012 attempt to raise the state's cigarette tax.

"Forty percent of Missourians would still oppose this if it was being used to construct the landing pad for the second coming of Christ," said Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia.

Supporters said voters would likely go along with a sales tax to fund the roads that many people use in their daily lives.

Under the legislation, the sales tax would need to be reauthorized by voters every 10 years, starting in 2024. Ten percent of funds raised by the sales tax would also go toward local transportation projects. Cities could earmark a portion of those local funds to other forms of transportation, including air, rail, bicycle and pedestrian projects.

The tax increase would not apply to purchases of food and the constitutional amendment would require a subsequent vote of the people to change the gas tax rate or place tolls on existing roads and bridges.

Transportation is HJR68

Online:

Legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov

Mo. House roll call on transportation sales tax

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The 96-53 roll call Wednesday by which the Missouri House voted to send the Senate legislation that would, upon voter approval, impose a 1-cent sales tax increase for transportation funding.

Voting "yes" were 63 Republicans and 33 Democrats.

Voting "no" were 38 Republicans and 15 Democrats.

Noting voting were 7 Republicans and 3 Democrats.

REPUBLICANS VOTING YES

Sue Allen, Town and Country

Sonya Anderson, Springfield

Kevin Austin, Springfield

Jay Barnes, Jefferson City

Mike Bernskoetter, Jefferson City

Wanda Brown, Cole Camp

Kathie Conway, St. Charles

Gary Cross, Lee's Summit

Charlie Davis, Webb City

John Diehl, Town and Country

Dean Dohrman, LaMonte

Kevin Elmer, Nixa

Sue Entlicher, Bolivar

Paul Fitzwater, Potosi

Tom Flanigan, Carthage

Lyndall Fraker, Marshfield

Diane Franklin, Camdenton

Elaine Gannon, De Soto

Chuck Gatschenberger, Lake St. Louis

Don Gosen, Ballwin

Casey Guernsey, Bethany

Kent Hampton, Malden

Jim Hansen, Frankford

Ron Hicks, St. Peters

Dave Hinson, St. Clair

Denny Hoskins, Warrensburg

Lincoln Hough, Springfield

Jay Houghton, Martinsburg

Tom Hurst, Meta

Jeffery Justus, Branson

Mike Kelley, Lamar

Glen Kolkmeyer, Wellington

Bart Korman, High Hill

Mike Lair, Chillicothe

Bill Lant, Pineville

Jeanie Lauer, Blue Springs

Donna Lichtenegger, Jackson

Warren Love, Osceola

Steve Lynch, Waynesville

John McCaherty, High Ridge

Joe Don McGaugh, Carrollton

Jeffrey Messenger, Republic

Rocky Miller, Osage Beach

Chris Molendorp, Belton

Lynn Morris, Ozark

Dave Muntzel, Boonville

Myron Neth, Liberty

Don Phillips, Kimberling City

Randy Pike, Adrian

Craig Redmon, Canton

Bill Rieboldt, Neosho

Jeanie Riddle, Mokane

Dave Schatz, Sullivan

Noel Shull, Kansas City

Lindell Shumake, Hannibal

Sheila Solon, Blue Springs

Chrissy Sommer, St. Charles

Rick Stream, Kirkwood

Kathy Swan, Cape Girardeau

Mike Thomson, Maryville

Nate Walker, Kirksville

Bill White, Joplin

David Wood, Versailles

DEMOCRATS VOTING YES

Linda Black, Desloge

Bob Burns, Affton

Mike Colona, St. Louis

Pat Conway, St. Joseph

Courtney Curtis, Berkeley

Keith English, Florissant

Vicki Englund, St. Louis County

Michael Frame, Eureka

Ben Harris, Hillsboro

Penny Hubbard, St. Louis

Jacob Hummel, St. Louis

Chris Kelly, Columbia

Michele Kratky, St. Louis

Gail McCann Beatty, Kansas City

Tom McDonald, Raytown

TJ McKenna, Festus

Kevin McManus, Kansas City

Margo McNeil, Hazelwood

Sue Meredith, St. Louis County

Bonnaye Mims, Kansas City

Genise Montecillo, St. Louis County

Judy Morgan, Kansas City

Stacey Newman, Richmond Heights

Mary Nichols, Maryland Heights

Charlie Norr, Springfield

Bill Otto, Maryland Heights

Sharon Pace, Northwoods

Tommie Pierson, Bellefontaine Neighbors

John Rizzo, Kansas City

Joe Runions, Grandview

Ed Schieffer, Troy

Jay Swearingen, North Kansas City

Stephen Webber, Columbia

REPUBLICANS VOTING NO

Kurt Bahr, O'Fallon

T.J. Berry, Kearney

Rick Brattin, Harrisonville

Eric Burlison, Springfield

Mike Cierpiot, Lee's Summit

Steve Cookson, Poplar Bluff

Stanley Cox, Sedalia

Sandy Crawford, Buffalo

Paul Curtman, Pacific

Tony Dugger, Hartville

Kevin Engler, Farmington

Scott Fitzpatrick, Shell Knob

Keith Frederick, Rolla

Doug Funderburk, St. Peters

Elijah Haahr, Springfield

Delus Johnson, St. Joseph

Caleb Jones, Columbia

Tim Jones, Eureka

Shelley Keeney, Marble Hill

Andrew Koenig, Manchester

Mike Leara, St. Louis County

Nick Marshall, Parkville

Mike Moon, Ash Grove

Jim Neely, Cameron

Mark Parkinson, St. Charles

Jeff Pogue, Salem

Holly Rehder, Sikeston

Tim Remole, Excello

Shawn Rhoads, West Plains

Todd Richardson, Poplar Bluff

Robert Ross, Yukon

Lyle Rowland, Cedarcreek

Dwight Scharnhorst, Valley Park

Ron Schieber, Kansas City

Bryan Spencer, Wentzville

Noel Torpey, Independence

Kenneth Wilson, Smithville

Anne Zerr, St. Charles

DEMOCRATS VOTING NO

Ira Anders, Independence

Michael Butler, St. Louis

Jon Carpenter, Gladstone

Randy Dunn, Kansas City

Brandon Ellington, Kansas City

Kimberly Gardner, St. Louis

Jeanne Kirkton, Webster Groves

Karla May, St. Louis

John Mayfield, Independence

Gina Mitten, Richmond Heights

Josh Peters, St. Louis

Jill Schupp, Creve Coeur

Clem Smith, Velda Village Hills

Rochelle Walton Gray, Black Jack

John Wright, Rocheport

REPUBLICANS NOT VOTING

Robert Cornejo, St. Peters

Jeff Grisamore, Lee's Summit

Marsha Haefner, Oakville

Galen Higdon, St. Joseph

Donna Pfautsch, Harrisonville

Caleb Rowden, Columbia

Paul Wieland, Imperial

DEMOCRATS NOT VOTING

Steve Hodges, East Prairie

Jeremy LaFaver, Kansas City

Jeff Roorda, Barnhart

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