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Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna fields a question at a chamber event in support of Prop D. The panel discussion included chamber President Matt Morrow, Dan Kleinsorge with SaferMo.com, Mary Beth Hartman with Hunter Chase & Associates Inc. and state Rep. Kevin Corlew.
SBJ photo by Mike Cullinan
Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna fields a question at a chamber event in support of Prop D. The panel discussion included chamber President Matt Morrow, Dan Kleinsorge with SaferMo.com, Mary Beth Hartman with Hunter Chase & Associates Inc. and state Rep. Kevin Corlew.

Chamber encourages support for fuel tax increase

Posted online

Last edited 8:31 a.m., Oct. 4, 2018

The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce is among supporters of Proposition D, a proposed gas tax increase that goes before Missouri voters Nov. 6.

Chamber President Matt Morrow said during a Sept. 27 chamber-hosted Prop D informational session the organization’s board of directors has endorsed the 10-cent gas hike, and they’re now encouraging its members to support the measure in November.

If approved, the tax is expected to generate $288 million annually to the state road fund for Missouri law enforcement and $123 million annually to local governments for road construction and maintenance upon full implementation.

The event with more than 50 in attendance featured a panel discussion with state Rep. Kevin Corlew, R-Kansas City; Mary Beth Hartman, owner and president of Hunter Chase & Associates Inc.; and Dan Kleinsorge, campaign manager of SaferMo.com, a coalition advocating for the issue’s passage. Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna also was in attendance representing the state organization.

Morrow said transportation funding has long been a top priority for the chamber membership, adding statewide infrastructure improvements are supported by Gov. Mike Parson. Parson was in Springfield on Aug. 1 for a State of the State address in which he also endorsed the gas tax hike.

“A fundamental building block for driving our economy is education and transportation,” Morrow said. “And if you have those things working for you, you can do a lot. Right now, the charge from our governor very much echoes that – transportation and infrastructure and workforce development – those are key elements.”

McKenna cited MoDOT data during the event that noted the state has the seventh largest transportation system in the nation, but only ranks 46th nationally in revenue per mile.

“When you look at that, you compare that to other states surrounding us. Iowa, as an example, has three times the revenue per mile under their management than we do here in Missouri,” he said.

Prop D recommends increasing the motor fuel tax to 27 cents per gallon from 17 cents per gallon. If approved, the hike would be phased in incrementally at 2.5 cents over four years, beginning July 1, 2019.

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