4/9/2008Missouri: Amendment Taxes Government Profit to Fix Roads
Proposed Missouri constitutional amendment would tax government growth in revenue to fund road maintenance and construction.
A Missouri state Senate panel last week endorsed a plan to tap a new source of revenue to pay for repairs to the state's crumbling infrastructure: tax the growth in government itself. State Senator John Loudon (R-Chesterfield) came up with the idea to use a state constitutional amendment to force lawmakers to adjust their budget priorities.
"This much-needed investment in fixing and expanding Missouri's roads and bridges will provide a bounty of economic activity as new businesses are attracted to Missouri, adding thousands of jobs while increasing safety on state highways," Loudon said in a statement on the amendment's introduction.
Based on historical averages, the amount of money Missouri treasury collects from citizens grows at a rate of 4.5 percent each year. Loudon's proposal would siphon off ten percent of the money generated from the year-to-year increase in government revenue. The amount would then be dedicated to the state transportation fund where no more than five percent of the new funding could be diverted to mass transit or other purposes unrelated to the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges.
If ratified, the amendment would direct an estimated $34 million to road maintenance and $2 million to transit in fiscal 2010. By 2012 it would bring $109 million more to roads and $6 million to transit. For this to happen, the General Assembly would have to pass the measure and it would have to be approved by voters in November.
The full text of the amendment is available in a 260k PDF file at the source link below.