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Government, Politics & Issues

Group Of Republicans Block 1-Cent Transportation Sales Tax In Mo. Senate

/Via Flickr/ KOMU news, Manu Bhandari
Cracks are seen in the shoulder of I-70 near the exit to the Providence Road in Columbia, Mo. The budget for the Missouri Department of Transportation is expected to drop by nearly half in 2011. (Via Flickr/ KOMUnews, Manu Bhandari)

A group of Republicans in the Missouri Senate has blocked a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a one-cent sales tax to help fund the state’s transportation needs.

The tax would require voter approval and would expire after 10 years unless voters renew it. Five percent of revenues raised would be designated for cities and another five percent for counties to pay for local transportation needs.  Those factors were not enough to sway several Republicans, including Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph, who conducted a filibuster Tuesday night.

"It disproportionately affects poor people, the people who spend a higher portion of their income," Schaaf said.  "So they’re gonna pay another one percent."

The sponsor, Mike Kehoe of Jefferson City, says every billion dollars in revenue raised would put $5-7 billion back into Missouri’s economy.  He has until Friday to persuade fellow Republicans to reverse course and pass the measure. 

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

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