By Collin Reischman
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Senate passed a resolution today that, if approved by voters, would increase the sales and use taxes in the state of Missouri by one percent during a 10 year period. The funds raised are designated to be used for transportation purposes across the state.
The legislation, Senate Joint Resolution 16, requires the approval of the Missouri voters, is sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, and could raise up to $8 billion in the next decade for public transportation improvements and construction, according to a fiscal analysis of the bill.
While measures for increased transportation funds are largely supported in the Capitol, several conservative senators were opposed to the legislation on the basis that it would increase taxes.
Sen. John Lamping, R-St. Louis County, said the bill “took [the state] down the wrong road.”
“Earlier this week we chose smaller, limited government in the form of lowered taxes,” Lamping said on the floor. “And now, we are choosing higher taxes and an expanded, bloated government. I think that’s the wrong choice.”
Lamping said if the bill passed the Senate, a “massive campaign” would begin, funded by lobbyists in favor of the bill, to “get Missouri citizens to tax themselves.” The more fiscally conservative group of senators voted against the measure, which passed by a vote of 24-10 and was not along party lines.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.