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Capitol Briefs: Schatz gas tax bill clears Fiscal Review Committee

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Sen. Dave Schatz’s proposal to increase Missouri’s fuel tax cleared the House Fiscal Review Committee Monday afternoon. 

It was a much-anticipated hearing as all eyes turned to Rep. John Wiemann to see how he would vote on the package. But the House Speaker Pro Tem voted in favor of SB 262, and it passed out of Rep. Travis Fitzwater’s committee 5-3. 

Schatz’s bill would increase Missouri’s fuel tax by 2.5 cents annually for the next four years — bumping it up to 29.5 cents from 17 cents by 2025. The funds would go toward maintaining the state’s roads and bridges, a major focus for both Schatz and Gov. Mike Parson.

  • Aside from Fitzwater and Wiemann, Reps. Donna Baringer, Aaron Griesheimer, and Marlene Terry voted for the proposal. 
  • Reps. J. Eggleston, Doug Richey, and Sara Walsh — all Republicans — were the three legislators who voted against Schatz’s bill. 
  • The legislation includes a rebate program: Drivers would be required to apply with the Department of Revenue (DOR) once a year to receive a refund for the tax, supplying data on the number of gallons purchased, information on the seller and purchaser, and more. The program was inspired by a similar policy enacted in South Carolina. 
  • The bill now sits on the House’s informal calendar for Senate bills up for third read.