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Highway department asks for more tax hikes

February 22, 1999
By: Lee McGuire
State Capital Bureau

Last week state legislators were talking about cutting taxes. Monday, they talked about raising them. Lee McGuire reports from Jefferson City.

The latest solution to Missouri's highway construction funding woes is a 5-cents-a-gallon tax hike, and half-cent increase in the state sales tax.

Last fall the transportation department killed its main construction plan because it was billions of dollars over-budget. The Joint Committee on Transportation oversight is now looking at a plan to generate about 600 million dollars a year to fund what's left of that project.

But St. Charles Republican Senator Steve Ehlmann says he's not sure that's the way to go.

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RunTime: 7
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Contents: He says the 600 million figure seems high.

If the state legislature gives those tax increases the green light, the issue would go to voters before taking effect. In Jefferson City, Lee McGuire, KMOX News.


The Missouri Chamber of Commerce is refusing to sign on to a proposed 5-cents-a-gallon gas tax hike until the highway department decides what it would do with the money. Lee McGuire reports from Jefferson City.

Daniel Mehan of the Chamber of Commerce and 16 other business leaders are advising the highway department on how to proceed with its construction projects.

Mehan says he won't support the department's request for a tax hike until it outlines what it wants to do.

A tax hike is a big deal for the state legislature, but Mehan says there's still enough time this session to get a good proposal through.

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OutCue:
Contents: He says the legislature has enough time.

Mehan says rebuilding Interstate 70 should be a top priority over the next few years. In Jefferson City, Lee McGuire, KMOX News.


This is Lee McGuire in Jefferson City. The idea of raising taxes to pay for the highway department's latest plan to improve the state's roads isn't gaining much immediate support in the state legislature.

The Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight is moving cautiously on a plan to raise both the gas tax and the sales tax. That would bring in about 600 million dollars a year.

But one of the state's most influential republicans, St. Charles Senator Steve Ehlmann, says he's not sure this is the way to go.

Actuality:t-ehl01
RunTime: 7
OutCue:
Contents: he says 600 m is a high number.

If the state legislature gives those tax increases the green light, the issue would go to voters before taking effect. In Jefferson City, Lee McGuire, KMOX News.