Another gas tax is being floated in the Show Me State, this time coming from the House of Representatives.
House Transportation Committee Chair Becky Ruth says this bill would increase Missouri’s fuel tax to generate transportation funding, but would also give taxpayers the option to recover the taxes paid as a tax credit.
House Bill 1044 would increase the gas tax in Missouri by 2 cents per gallon on January 1, 2022. The tax would then increase by additional 2 cents each year until a total of five increases have occurred.
A Similar bill was presented by Senate Pro Tem Dave Schatz and was discussed by the Senate Transportation Committee earlier this week, however it did not include a tax write off for residents.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As voters have consistently rejected a fuel tax increase to help provide funding for Missouri’s aging transportation infrastructure, House Transportation Committee Chair Becky Ruth has sought innovative solutions to generate revenue for the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.
This week she unveiled a plan she created that would increase Missouri’s fuel tax to generate much-needed transportation funding, but would also give taxpayers the option to recover the taxes paid if they choose to do so. Ruth said she got the idea from a legislative conference that discussed similar legislation that was passed into law in South Carolina in 2017. The South Carolina plan has allowed the state to raise hundreds of millions in road funding, while also allowing taxpayers to reclaim their tax dollars by applying for a credit.
Ruth said she introduced her legislation to provide Missourians with a similar option.
“We are in desperate need of funding for our roads and bridges, but we also know a significant portion of Missourians don’t support an increase to our fuel tax,” said Ruth, R-Festus. “By giving taxpayers the option to obtain a rebate, we can strike a balance that generates the funding we need while also protecting taxpayers who don’t want to see their tax bill go up.”
HB 1044 would increase the gas tax in Missouri by 2 cents per gallon on January 1, 2022. The tax would then increase by additional 2 cents each year until a total of five increases have occurred. The bill would also allow Missourians to file for a refund for the increased tax that was paid with fuel purchases. Ruth noted that in South Carolina, approximately 15 percent of eligible residents applied for a rebate.
“We’ve reached a crisis level here in Missouri where we have between $8 and $10 billion in unfunded need for our transportation system. I am committed to finding solutions that will not only keep our roads operational, but also allow our transportation system to meet the growing demands our state is placing on it,” said Ruth, who noted that Missouri has the nation’s seventh largest highway network, but ranks 48th in the nation in funding.
She added, “My time in the legislature has been focused on finding a solution to this pressing issue, and I believe HB 1044 represents a viable option that can be supported by all Missourians. I am excited to work with my colleagues in the House to move this legislation through the process, and hopefully into law this year.”