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State Senate gives first round passage to fuel tax increase for MoDOT funding


Sen. Doug Libla

Senate Bill 623, sponsored by Sen. Doug Libla  would raise the state’s fuel tax from 17 cents per gallon to 22.9 cents per gallon on January 1st 2017, pending a vote of the people. The tax increase of 5.9 cents per gallon would apply equally to gas and diesel purchases.

The bill that finally passed the State Senate after several hours of debate is a far cry from where the bill started this session. Sen. Libla’s original legislation called for the gasoline tax to increase 1.5 cents per gallon and the state tax on diesel to increase 3.5 cents per gallon with no vote of the people.

Associated Industries of Missouri and the Missouri Transportation Development Council took a position early on in the process that both gasoline and diesel fuel taxes should increase the same amount, but have supported the bill from the beginning.

The state would realize about $165 million in new revenues for road and bridge projects under the new legislation.

“We’ve had our heads stuck in the sand too long. … We’ve got to get moving on this … we’re undermining our economic development (and the) safety of our people,” said Libla during floor debate.

The bill faces one more vote in the Senate before it can move on to the House for debate.

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