Your Opinion: Engineers back road tax

Dear Editor:

Missouri’s massive transportation system is at a critical juncture. Our fuel tax revenue is no longer responsive and sufficient to support the long list of needs. We can’t count on federal funding as a reliable source for long-term highway funding anymore. We Missourians must find a way to do it ourselves. And, Aug. 5 is the time to make that Show-Me investment.

The Missouri Society of Professional Engineers believes the state needs to provide a safe and efficient transportation system — which is vital to the well-being of its citizens and a sound economic future for the Show-Me State.

For the past several years, state government officials, politicians and other interested organizations have studied many different revenue options to address the growing funding problems. The stark reality is there is no painless method to raise the funds needed to meet the needs for our highways, bridges, railroads, aviation, ports, and rural/urban mass transit.

Of the funding options considered, a temporary sales tax on goods, excluding necessities such as food, gas and medical expenses, was found to be the most reasonable and efficient means of providing these funds.

MSPE believes Amendment 7 is a viable means to gain dedicated transportation funding and that the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission’s approval of a statewide 10-year priority project list is a commitment to citizens.

Let’s make sure the Show-Me State becomes the example for other states in tackling long-term transportation funding. Join professional engineers from around the state in supporting Constitutional Amendment 7.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com