Missouri Lt. Governor says Missourians to decide if gasoline tax increase is needed

Gas Tax

The state’s lieutenant governor says Missourians will have to decide whether a gasoline tax increase is needed.

Missouri’s 17-cent gasoline tax has remained the same since 1996. Last November, voters rejected a proposed ten-cent gas tax increase.

At his campaign announcement, last week at Jefferson City’s Memorial Park, Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe (R) told the audience that a long-term solution is needed for transportation. Missourinet asked him that night if a gas tax increase is on the table. Kehoe says Missourians will have to decide that.

“As you know, our Hancock Amendment prohibits the Legislature from coming up with that solution, that’s probably a good thing most days,” Kehoe says. “So we’ll see what Missourians think is the appropriate response.”

Missourians approved the Hancock Amendment in 1980. It’s named after the late Springfield businessman Mel Hancock, who was elected to Congress several years later. The Hancock Amendment essentially requires voter approval before taxes can be increased by lawmakers, beyond a certain annual limit.

Kehoe says a long-term solution is needed, for the safety of Missouri families and for the reliability of our businesses. “When you have the (nation’s) seventh-largest infrastructure system and you’re 49th in funding, it doesn’t take long to figure out you need a long-term solution. We’re all willing to listen to what Missourians think is the most reasonable approach to that, and then we’ll figure it out,” says Kehoe.

Lieutenant Governor Kehoe campaigned for Proposition D, the proposed gas tax increase, last fall. He spoke in September 2018 at the 84th annual Missouri Municipal League (MML) conference in Branson.

“What the mayors here (at the Branson conference) understand is they couldn’t run their city budgets and Missourians couldn’t run their household budgets if they didn’t have any extra income for 22 years straight,” Kehoe said that day.

The state Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has said that if voters had approved Proposition D, it would have generated about $288 million annually in new road and bridge funding.