Transportation
5:01 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

MHTC Chairman Proposes 1-Cent Sales Tax To Fund Mo.'s Transportation Needs

The head of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has unveiled a plan for funding the state’s aging highways and bridges.

The centerpiece would be a new one-cent sales tax.  It would expire after 10 years, and would need approval from both lawmakers and Missouri voters.  Transportation Commission Chairman Rudy Farber says the tax would not be collected on medicine, groceries or gasoline purchases.

“We’re not saying we have the final draft of this, but we are asking for input and we are going to be studying it," Farber said.  "The members of the commission, while we have not formally adopted this, have certainly discussed it among ourselves.”

Here's video of today's press conference via MoDOT: 

Farber says if approved, it would generate around $7.9 billion, $1 billion of which would be used to expand Interstate 70 from 4 to 6 lanes between Independence and Wentzville.

“You would prohibit trucks from driving in the third lane, and I have seen this done in a number of places in the United States, and it does increase traffic flow enormously and keep(s) it much, much safer.”

Farber says the proposed I-70 upgrades would not include turning it into a toll road or incorporating separate truck-only lanes.  Also, one-tenth of the $7.9 billion raised would be distributed to cities and counties for local transportation needs.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport