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Your Opinion: Gas tax increase needed for good roads

Your Opinion: Gas tax increase needed for good roads

January 10th, 2018 by Chuck Lahmeyer, Jefferson City in Opinion

Dear Editor:

Missourians deserve good roads. Which is why we should support the effort underway in our Legislature to raise the gas tax a bit to help provide for good road and safe bridges. This effort is very timely since inflation has stolen much of the value of the 17 cents per gallon we currently pay. This tax rate as enacted in 1996 and is well overdue to be increased a bit. The task force studying this matter is recommending a 10-cent-per-gallon increase. It is worth noting that Missouri drivers pay the fourth-lowest gas tax in the nation, but Missouri is sixth highest in the nation in number of miles of highway. Why does Missouri always seem to be at the bottom of the heap when it comes to doing the right thing? (I allude to the Missouri cigarette tax which is dead lowest in the nation). It is worth mentioning that at $2.25 per gallon, gasoline is actually cheaper now then in 1955, when inflation is taken into account.

It has been proposed that to keep Interstate 70 in good operating condition, MoDOT might have to built toll gates and collect tolls. They have suggested $30 for a toll. Come on Missourians! Do we really want to pay for all those toll gates and toll collectors, not to mention the tolls themselves? Or would you rather just pony up another dime at the gas pump? If you like toll roads, try driving across Oklahoma. If you like good roads and bridges toll-free, support this measure.

Heading the Transportation Task Force mentioned above is Kevin Corlew, a state representative from Kansas City. He deserves our support and our representatives should hear from us on this matter. The task force only gets to recommend the tax increase; voters will have the final say at the ballot box. Thanks to Bob Watson for his excellent reporting on this issue.