Senate gives first round approval to transportation funding increase
March 10, 2021 - After discussing the issue at great length until late last night, the Missouri Senate reconvened today and gave first round approval to SS#2 SCS SB 262, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz.
The bill would increase motor fuel taxes by a total of 12.5 cents over a five-year period of 2.5 cent annual increases. Refunds of the increased motor fuel taxes would be available to operators of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 lbs. or less. The refunds would require fuel purchasers to obtain and maintain receipts of fuel purchased throughout the fiscal year (July through June) and would be available once per year between July 1 and September 30.
The bill also increases fees for alternative fuel decals by 20% per year for a period of 5 years, except the fee for vehicles in excess of 36,000 pounds which is increased by 10% per year for a period of 5 years. The fee for temporary decals is not modified.
The bill also establishes an "Electric Vehicle Task Force" within the Department of Revenue to analyze and make recommendations regarding the impact of electric vehicle adoption on transportation funding. The task force must deliver a written report to the General Assembly and the Governor no later than December 31, 2022.
"I am very pleased with the Missouri Senate moving forward on a sustainable transportation funding package," said Rod Reid, Chairman of the Board of Missouri Transportation and Development Council. "With Missouri being the home of the population center of the United States we have an asset that we need to take care of. A well maintained and efficient transportation system is vital to manufacturing, farming, and tourism," he said.
"Associated Industries of Missouri fully supports the increased funding provided in the bill and we applaud the Senate's passage of the measure that will help us improve Missouri's transportation infrastructure that is vital to the state's economy," said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri.
In addition to the transportation funding changes, the bill also increases from 10 to 20 years the recording of odometer readings to comply with changes in federal law, and includes a lifetime ban from the ability to obtain a commercial drivers' license (CDL) for persons convicted of using a commercial motor vehicle in felony human trafficking.