Audio: Lawsuit to block public vote on Missouri gas tax hike dismissed

Gas Tax

(Missourinet) – A court has dismissed a lawsuit claiming a ballot measure that would increase the state’s motor fuel tax violates the Missouri Constitution.

 

 

The court decision means the 10-cent motor fuel tax will be on the November ballot as it now stands, although an appeal of the ruling will likely be attempted. Judge Robert Schollmeyer in Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City determined legislation passed by lawmakers on the last day of this year’s session does not violate three sections of Missouri law as argued by plaintiffs.

A bill originally drawn up to establish a state tax exemption on prizes won in Olympic competition was amended to include two additional provisions – one calling for a public vote on the motor fuel tax, and another to create an emergency road fund in which the legislature can deposit state funds. Judge Schollmeyer dismissed the suit brought by conservative activist Ron Calzone and Republican state Representative Mike Moon of Ash Grove, noting that all three provisions have to do with state revenue.

The decision backs up the action of Missouri Secretary of state Jay Ashcroft, the defendant in the case who certified the ballot measure to go before voters.