Rep. Becky Ruth Explains Missouri’s New Gas Tax Increase — And Its Rebate Feature
Missouri voters haven’t approved of a gas tax increase since 1996. But this week, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed Senate Bill 262 into law, which will raise the tax on motor fuel starting this October to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure.
Currently Missouri drivers pay 17 cents per gallon, the second-lowest gas tax in the country. That will go up by 12.5 cents over the next five years, 2.5 cents a year. It’s estimated to generate $460 million annually for the state’s roads and bridges when fully implemented.
The measure received bipartisan support, likely because of its rebate component. Missourians who keep their gas receipts can apply for a refund if they file a claim on or after July 1 through Sept. 30, “following the fiscal year for which the exemption and refund is claimed,” as noted in the bill.
On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, state Rep. Becky Ruth, R-Festus, chair of the House Transportation Committee, joined guest host Jonathan Ahl to discuss how the measure came together and what it will entail.
“I believe it's probably the first time that we've ever had a tax where you can get 100% of your money back on that new tax,” Ruth said.
She added that because of the Interstate Commerce Clause in the measure, people from other states who fill up their gas tanks in Missouri are eligible for the refund as well.
“Close to 40% of the traffic on our roads are from other states,” she explained. “Now how many of those people from the other states are going to apply for the refund? I would say that number is probably going to be pretty low.”
Businesses and corporations may also apply for refunds, as the representative noted in response to a listener who called in with concerns about what that could mean for state coffers.
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. Paola Rodriguez is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.