House to take up proposed transportation sales tax upon return to session

Missouri senators endorsed a proposed one-cent sales tax increase that could raise nearly $8 billion over a decade for transportation projects prior to the legislative spring break.  Now the proposal will be assigned to a House committee to be heard.

The sales tax increase would require voter approval and, if passed, would be resubmitted to the ballot after 10 years so Missourians could decide whether to continue it.

Currently, there is no dedicated funding source in the bill for public transit and other modes. The Missouri Public Transit Association passed a resolution in support of the sales tax with the 15 percent carve out for multi-modal infrastructure. The Blue Ribbon Commission Report identified $250 millionMapofstatefundingfortransit a year need for public transit. 

The image right illustrates Missouri’s funding for public transit last year (the Governor requested the same amount this year in his budget) compared to its neighbors. This $560,000 is spread over 33 transit providers in the state.

As members of CMT and friends of transit,  I am hoping you will consider dropping a note to members of the House Transportation Committee on the importance of ensuring the proposed sales tax package includes the critical funding necessary for public transit.   Below is a draft letter/email and the list of committee members’ emails:

Dear  XXX:

Transportation is the key to moving Missouri forward.  Next week, Senate bill SJR 16, the proposed one-cent sales tax for transportation in Missouri, will move to the House.  I am writing to voice support for a funding package that includes critical funding for public transit.  Funding for public transit projects and other multi-modal projects must be included to move Missouri forward.

Last year Missouri transportation providers received little more than $500,000. This year the Governor recommended the same levels for public transit across the state.  Transit is the key to putting Missouri back on track!  The facts show investment in transit creates jobs.  Research has shown that every dollar invested in transit projects has a $4 return according to the America Public Transit Association.  There are few investments at this time that can yield a 400% return. 

The current level of state support for transit is inadequate.  The State of Missouri ranks near the bottom of the list (45th) for funding of public transit.  Local funding has hit a ceiling in many areas. In order to compete for federal dollars to put our economy back on track, Missouri must make transit a priority through support and funding.  In St. Louis alone, more than 75 percent of the 223,000 daily boardings on transit are for the work commute.  Transit creates, maintains, and sustains JOBS that Missouri cannot afford to lose!

In addition, with an aging population in Missouri of residents 65 years or older, transit is the answer to meeting the needs of our seniors and disabled residents. Transit increases accessibility, connects them to their communities, and keeps them active and healthy in both our urban and rural areas. 

I urge you to support a transportation funding package that includes an assurance that public transit projects/priorities will be funded. I also encourage you to look at ways to go beyond this funding package to make public transit a priority for Missouri.

Sincerely,

>> Missouri House Transportation Committee <<

Dave Schatz-R (Chair)

573-751-6668
dave.schatz@house.mo.gov

Lincoln Hough-R (Vice Chair)

573-751-9809
lincoln.hough@house.mo.gov

Bob Burns-D

573-751-0211
bob.burns@house.mo.gov

Dave Hinson-R

573-751-0549
dave.hinson@house.mo.gov

Denny Hoskins-R  

573-751-4302
denny.hoskins@house.mo.gov

Glen Kolkmeyer-R

573-751-1462
glen.kolkmeyer@house.mo.gov

Bart Korman-R                             

573-751-2689
bart.korman@house.mo.gov

Bill Lant-R

573-751-9801
bill.lant@house.mo.gov

Karla May-D  

573-751-2198
karla.may@house.mo.gov

Tom McDonald-D

573-751-9851
tom.mcdonald@house.mo.gov

TJ McKenna-D  

573-751-4451
tj.mckenna@house.mo.gov

Don Phillips-R

573-751-3851
don.phillips@house.mo.gov

Holly Rehder-R  

573-751-5471
holly.rehder@house.mo.gov

Sheila Solon-R

573-751-8636
sheila.solon@house.mo.gov

Ed Schieffer-D

573-751-9459
ed.schieffer@house.mo.gov

Also, Please contact these key legislators:

Scott Sifton, MO Senate District 1
201 W Capitol Ave, Room 116-3
Jefferson City, MO  65101
Scott.sifton@house.mo.gov

John Diehl, MO House District 89
201 W Capitol Ave, Room 309
Jefferson City, MO 65101
John.diehl@house.mo.gov

Timothy Jones, MO Speaker of the House District 110
201 W Capitol Ave, Room 302A
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Tim.jones@house.mo.gov