Missouri voters on Tuesday rejected an increase in the state sales tax with the proceeds going to pay for road and bridge building and repair projects.
The plan called for a three-quarter of a cent hike over 10 years to raise more than $5 billion, while prohibiting increases in state’s diesel or gasoline taxes along with banning tolling along state highways. The current state sales tax rate is 4.225 cents.
The proposal, defeated by 59% to 41%, would have funded some 800 projects, according to the Kansas City Star newspaper.
It reports over the past five year’s the state’s road and bridge building budget as fallen from $1.3 billion annually to $700 million this year and is expected to be less than half this amount by 2017 due to more fuel efficient vehicles, less federal funding and the end of a state bond measure.
While the plan was opposed by those against any sort of tax hikes, it also did not have the backing of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon as well as those who said it would be better to raise the state's fuel taxes.